DEI Community Webinar with Disability & Philanthropy Forum [March 9, 2022]

In this webinar, Emily Harris (ED of the Disability & Philanthropy Forum) expanded our understanding of “disability” by citing examples.

    • Physical and mobility (polio, limb difference)
    • Sensory (Deaf/hard of hearing, blind/low vision)
    • Intellectual and Developmental (IDD) (Down’s Syndrome, Autism, CP)
    • Psychosocial/Mental Health (depression, bi-polar, ADHD)
    • Learning (dyslexia, auditory processing disorder)
    • Chronic illness (cancer, HIV, Crohn’s, Diabetes)
  • We also learned that tracking participation is critical to increasing disability inclusion. To help us track we learned “How to Ask” including 3 specific options (simple, detailed and function activity-focused) for integrating disability into your demographic survey.
  • Importantly, we learned that there is no legal bar to collecting data on disability, as long as the organization is doing so for the purpose of increasing diversity and if the organization makes clear that:
    • Answering the question is voluntary;
    • The answer will NOT negatively impact the applicant; and
    • The purpose of collecting the information is to increase the number of people with disabilities.
  • We were all encourage to “Make the Pledge” to begin the journey toward disability inclusion.
  • It is important that our applications and all other literature we publish is accessible to people with disabilities. One of the simplest changes we can make is to JUST ASK if the applicant or reader needs accommodations, and to give contact information upfront.
  • The Disability & Philanthropy Forum is dedicated to centering the perspectives of disabled people while engaging philanthropy on a collective journey to understand disability inclusion as key to advancing social justice. The Forum website offers a robust library of resources to support philanthropy’s ongoing learning about disability, and membership is free to all working in philanthropy.

Emily Harris
Executive Director, Disability & Philanthropy Forum