The Challenge

For years, philanthropy and social justice movements have failed to include disabled people as partners, leaders, and agents of change. Despite the deep inequality facing the community, philanthropy and movement organizers do not often recognize people with disabilities as a powerful community to engage, organize, and advocate with. Most social justice and human rights organizations have little experience or expertise to advance disability inclusion in their organizing or policy work, even when they have the best intentions.

What’s in The Report

Commissioned by the Ford Foundation’s Civic Engagement & Government program, the Disability Inclusion Toolkit is written and designed by disability community leaders Mia Ives Rublee and Andraéa LaVant to help social justice organizations advance disability inclusion in their work.

The toolkit includes introductory disability definitions and language guidelines, in addition to guidance on creating accessible in-person and virtual events, social media, and disability inclusive employment practices from recruitment to retention. The toolkit serves as a public good available to any organization that can benefit from the tools, tips, and guidance offered within.

A Note on Access
People with disabilities are a diverse group of individuals with varying needs. There is no one-size fits all accessibility approach, which is why this toolkit emphasizes the need to create pathways for people to share their access needs and solicit feedback to identify areas of improvement. With this understanding in mind, we share that this toolkit is 508 compliant, meaning that it is screen reader compatible for individuals who are low vision, blind, and/or require a screen reader due to physical, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. We recognize that it may not meet the needs of some people with disabilities, for example those who require plain language materials. As we seek to model disability inclusion in our grantmaking and internal practices, we want to fully disclose the limitations of this toolkit. We are in the process of updating Ford’s past studies, so they are accessible for all readers.