Leaders from across the disability community share their views on disability and why an intersectional approach is needed.
No Equality Without Everyone
As the Americans with Disabilities Act turns 30, president Darren Walker reflects on the role of philanthropy, the intersections of social justice, and why integrating disability into the fight for equality is the only path forward.
The Unknown Ally in the Fight for Environmental Justice
Extracting natural resources can exacerbate climate change, but it can also lead people to develop disabilities. Around the world, there are movements led by people with disabilities emerging, proving powerful partners in the fight to protect the planet. Connecting environmental justice to disability rights is vital, but it’s just beginning.
Read The Unknown Ally in the Fight for Environmental Justice
The Camp That Ignited a Movement
How did Camp Jened in upstate New York inspire the political awakening that led to the Americans with Disabilities Act? Crip Camp creators Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht talk about the power of community at the camp—and at the heart of the disability rights movement—and its importance in the fight for justice.
Read Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht's account
Activism Across Generations
Judy Heumann and Katherine Perez know the fight for justice doesn’t end with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The disability rights activists talk about how the movement has evolved, the barriers their community still faces, and why we need to understand that social justice is disability justice.
Read a conversation with Judy and Katherine
On the Road to Justice
Understanding disability is a multifaceted, ever-evolving process—and it requires listening, learning and recognizing the work needed. As a social justice foundation, we are committed to integrating inclusion and the values of disability justice into our work, but we have more to do.
Read reflections on Ford's journey
5 Actions Nonprofits Can Take to Embrace Disability Rights and Access
In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we joined forces with a number of our partners, from Community Change to Human Rights Watch, each at different stages in their journeys toward inclusion. Together, we laid out five concrete actions organizations of any kind can take to advance disability inclusion and move closer to equity and justice.
Read the full article in Nonprofit Quarterly.
Where disability and social justice intersect
Meet the Fellows
Disability Futures Fellows
Disability Futures is an initiative—developed in partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by United States Artists—to spotlight the work of disabled creatives across disciplines and geography.
Watch The Festival
Disability Futures Virtual Festival
This dynamic convening of disabled creative practitioners took place July 19-20, 2021; we celebrated and honored the work of the DISABILITY FUTURES fellows and their collaborators. The event featured American Sign Language (ASL) and live closed captioning and audio descriptions in English.
Social Justice: What’s disability got to do with it?
Interested in accelerating your work through making disability-inclusive changes in your organization? Then, this video is for you!
“Understanding our country’s long history of systemic discrimination and exclusion of people with disabilities challenges us as individuals and organizations to weed out deeply engrained ideas and practices.”
Hand in Hand
Voting Rights for All
Join disability justice leaders Imani Barbarin, Michelle Bishop and Bianca Laureano for a conversation about barriers people with disabilities face in the voting process and ways we can all support solutions.
1 billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, live with some form of disability.
Read the WHO World Report on Disability
A New Social Contract: Centering Disability in the Future of Work
Before COVID-19, people with disabilities were 40% less likely to be employed. Disability justice and rights leaders Day Al-Mohamed, Teresa Danso-Danquah, and Taryn Williams imagine rebuilding our economy with inclusive policies and workplaces that ensure safe, fair work for all.
“Disability is a beautiful part of our society. It’s an asset.”
Empowerment Through Integration
A History Lesson
Lawrence Carter-Long of Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, a Ford grantee, provides a short history on the fight for disability rights, illustrating its role in America’s larger movement for civil rights and how this community-led effort has been intersectional from the start.
“Why advance disability justice? It's not just critical to achieving a world where we can all thrive, it also radically changes how we [as social justice leaders] approach our work.”
Center for Popular Democracy
“There’s this huge opportunity to rebuild our world in a way that works for all people.”
Detroit Disability Power
“We're fighting for all of you, not just some of you.”
The Keri Gray Group
“We were hearing that we weren’t doing enough to bring women with disabilities into the space in a meaningful way. It became a rallying point to push feminist movements to be more inclusive.”
The Association for Women’s Rights in Development
Only 4 out of 10 working-age adults with disabilities are employed.
Source: Brookings Institution
People in US state and federal prisons are nearly three times as likely to have a disability as the nonincarcerated population.
Read "Disabled Behind Bars" from Center for American Progress
“All people need to exercise their right to speak out.”
Disability Visibility Project
Voting turnout for the disabled community lags nearly 6 percentage points behind nondisabled people due to accessibility issues.
Source: Research Alliance for Accessible Voting
“There’s an important growing public conversation about how technology affects marginalized communities, but rarely does that conversation integrate an understanding of disability.”
Alexandra Reeve Givens
Center for Democracy and Technology
“This is not a call-out. This is a call-in.”
Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress
Where are you in your journey?
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Our work on Disability
We believe integrating disability into the fight for justice is the only path to achieve equality. Learn more about our journey as we move beyond inclusion toward the values of disability justice.
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