Will you help serve and unify the Disability Community?
Imagine a different world for disabled adults and kids with disabilities:
- Default accessible - where businesses, products, schools, government, everything is designed and built from Day One to be accessible to everyone.
- Expansively inclusive - where EVERYONE is welcomed to work, buy, lead, organize, teach, learn... every form of participation regardless of ability or status - all abilities, all disabilities.
- Deliberately democratic - where we are all engaged in our community, working together to make things better for everyone. This is a journey to better, not a destination.
We need you to help serve and unify the disability community. We're building a platform to help you make this future a reality.
Disabled adults and children may be the largest minority group in the world
The disability community may be the largest minority group in the world and things could be a lot better:
- The US Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are 61 million Americans living with disabilities - one in four Americans (26%) - 2018. Other estimates are less than 20 million Americans. Some talk about "The One in Five".
- We choose to include the elderly, those with mental and psychiatric disabilities or illnesses, those living with addiction. Whoever you are, whatever your abilities, you are valued.
- In 2018, a report by AIR estimated that the disability community represented over $490 billion in disposable income and $21 billion discretionary spending.
- A massive untapped market. A huge population who is often not seen and therefore not well served. An opportunity. A promise unfulfilled.
- The employment gap between people with disabilities (35.9 percent) and people without disabilities (76.6 percent) is 40.9 percent in the US (Disability Statistics Annual Report 2017).
- COVID has shown that we can massively re-envision work quickly. It has also brought to light the shameful gaps in our systems. Doing much better is possible.
- In 2016, the median earnings of people with disabilities ages 16 and over in the US was $22,047, about two-thirds of the median earnings of people without disabilities, $32,479 (Disability Statistics Annual Report).
- The world is becoming a better place now that women and minorities are part of our civic and commercial lives. It is time to welcome our disabled fellows.
- Worldwide, there are over 1 billion disabled people with over 200 million whose lives are seriously affected by Disability (United Nations Report on Disability - 2011).
- Only 24 percent of countries in the world have constitutions that specifically prohibit discrimination or guarantee equal rights on the basis of disability (Disabled World).
- Only 28 percent of countries protect through their constitutions the right to education for children with disabilities.
- Only 18 percent of countries constitutionally protect the right to work for persons with disabilities.
- Only 26 percent of constitutions explicitly guarantee the right to health for persons with disabilities.
- Government "of the people, by the people, for the people"... needs to include all people. Not About Us Without Us is a call to action for Us.
- According to the US CDC, 40% of adults over 65 will have one or more disabilities.
- There are 37,731 501c3 not-for-profits focused on disability in the US (according to Guidestar).
By coming together, we can create a "Disability Community Network" to accelerate a change for the better for all.
How do we get connected?
Our goal is to connect the connectors. You. Individuals. Leaders. Businesses. Organizations. Link the many voices who care about changing the world of disability.
Amplify voices. Accelerate change.
Businesses - a directory that connects you, your products and services, and your employment opportunities with the disability community. Articles, interviews, and resources to help you better serve the disability community and take advantage of the opportunities this massive customer pool presents.
Organizations - a directory to help connect you with volunteers, donors, and clients. Direct fundraising support through our partnership program.
Voices - a directory and publishing platform to help authors, publishers, podcasts, video channels expand your audiences and a revenue-sharing program to support your work.
Professionals, Leaders, and Organizers - help you connect with each other, organizations, businesses, and individuals, and with resources to help you achieve your mission.
Individuals and Families - connecting you with businesses and organizations that reflect your values and needs.
We're pulling things together, seeing what serves you, and asking you where we should go next.
The big pieces
The big pieces we see already are:
- Media Resources - A newsletter, podcasts and online resources. Information about the world of disabilities is highly fragmented.
- An Association. We want to literally pull together individuals, businesses, and groups who care about making things better for the disability community.
- A not-for-profit directory and fund. Helping you find and give to organizations who are helping disabled adults and kids with disabilities.
- A political advocacy infrastructure. The disability community needs to do more than just vote, we need to organize and engage with our political system to realize real change.
We have a long way to go and we are in very early days.
We're being totally transparent as to what we are doing and how we are doing it.
If someone has suggestions or is doing this better - great!
Would you like to join in or follow along?