What is Ford’s approach to disability?

Ford seeks to combat the inequity that people with disabilities face around the world. By using a disability rights lens, Ford identifies new opportunities to accelerate social change. The foundation’s grantmaking on disability rights and inclusion is focused on addressing structural discrimination and supporting policy advocacy and movement building. Ford does not typically support direct service provision—in general or around disability rights.

Ford makes grants that are both disability-specific and disability inclusive. The former aim to advance the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in their design, activities, and implementation. Grants that are disability inclusive intentionally include people with disabilities (often amongst other communities) in the design, activities, budget and/or implementation. Ford prioritizes organizations and/or projects led by people with disabilities.

The foundation also works to influence the donor community and the larger philanthropic ecosystem to proactively welcome and include people with disabilities in leadership, advocacy, organizing, and communications.

How do I apply for funding for work in the United States?

Please review the program strategy to assess whether or not your work aligns with the foundation’s funding priorities. At the moment, the foundation is not soliciting new proposals.

How do I apply for disability rights funding outside of the United States?

Since Ford does not have a global grantmaking program focused on disability rights, there is no one team that reviews and manages proposals related to disability. Instead, the regional offices and global programs (listed below) employ a disability lens in their grantmaking approach:

Does Ford fund accessibility such as making a website, building, or event more accessible?

No, not as individual activities. Ford prioritizes funding work that intentionally includes people with disabilities in leadership, staff, advocacy, and decision-making. We do not prioritize accessibility efforts in our funding strategies or resource allocation. Since our grantmaking is primarily in the form of general operating support—Ford believes both in trust-based philanthropy and that grantees are in the best position to prioritize disability efforts—it is grantees who determine how funds are spent. Ford may support current grantees who choose to address accessibility as part of their work to advance inclusion and rights.

How can I learn more about the Ford Foundation?

Ford is a large and diverse grantmaking institution. The easiest way to get to know our work is by subscribing to our newsletter and reviewing our grantmaking strategies. You can also follow Ford on Twitter at @FordFoundation. Please do not send funding requests via social media.