Mission: To fight stigma and advance opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.
About the Organization: Founded in 2013, RespectAbility works to ensure that children and adults with disabilities receive the education, training, and employment opportunities they need to succeed. The organization provides tools and resources that educate and enable the entertainment industry, policy makers, educators, advocates, nonprofits, employers, faith-based organizations, philanthropists, journalists, and online media to fight stigma and advance opportunities for people with disabilities.
Current Programs: RespectAbility's programs include the National Leadership Program, which provides young leaders who are committed to disability issues with the skills, contacts, and experience needed to pursue advanced degrees or careers in public policy, advocacy, communications, fundraising, nonprofit management, or faith-based inclusion. Open to undergraduate or graduate students or recent graduates with or without disabiltiies, the program is fully accessible and offers full-time in-house job coaching, skills development, networking opportunities, assistive technology, and personal care support.
Resources provided by the organization include the Solutions Center — which provides free webinars on topics such as accessibility and "disability etiquette," advocacy, employment, and safety and criminal justice — and various tool kits, research reports, videos, and other material for educators, employers, job seekers with disabilities, entertainment professionals, philanthropic organizations, policy makers, and veterans. And through its #RespectTheAbility campaign, the organization works to highlight the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities, best practices for inclusive hiring, and model employers.
Website: Visitors to the RespectAbility site can learn more about inclusive philanthropy, the role Hollywood plays in shaping perceptions of people with disabilities, and what presidential candidates have said regarding disability issues; keep up with news from and about the organization; and/or browse webinars and other resources as well as case studies of successful model practices. Visitors can also sign up to volunteer with the organization or make a donation.