Rebecca Cokley, director of the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress, a Ford grantee, shares some key steps any organization can take to become more inclusive.
“It is about saying specifically, ‘As we’re doing social justice work, how is disability included?’”
In the United States, one in five people has a disability. People with disabilities are a part of every community yet are often multiply marginalized.
Disability justice is about centering the voices of historically excluded people with disabilities in every aspect of work, including internal decisions and organizational policies.
Rebecca reminds us that “people are policy” and gives suggestions on how we can “live our values” by making hiring and communications accessible and inclusive.
Interested in learning more about how to create a truly inclusive organization? Check out these helpful resources from our grantees and partner organizations.
- Explore these guides on best practices for inclusive employment, and these practical resources on how to make meetings and events more inclusive, collated by the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy.
- Read the report, Advancing Economic Security for People with Disabilities, from the Center for American Progress.
- Learn about Best Practices for Employment from the National Organization on Disability.
- Find out more about accessible communications from Rooted in Rights.
This piece is part of Disability Demands Justice, a dynamic, ever-evolving hub to deepen our understanding of how disability intersects with social justice.
Explore the stories
A society cannot be truly just without including people with disabilities and taking an intersectional approach towards tackling discrimination. This starts with inclusive leadership, where people with disabilities are invited into discussions and lead the way in advocating for inclusive, equitable spaces.
Around the globe, people living with disabilities experience inequality in all its forms. Understanding intersectionality is essential to true inclusion. By centering those most marginalized and taking an intersectional approach in designing solutions, we can advance justice for all.
Over one billion people in the world are living with a disability. We need to expand our definition of justice. To create a truly inclusive world, we need to recognize how disability intersects with issues of social justice. Racial justice, economic justice, and gender justice cannot exist without disability justice.
People with disabilities are the world’s largest marginalized population. Challenging discriminatory narratives and systems can help the disability community build power and create a more inclusive world, by contributing value across all sectors. Building a more inclusive world benefits everyone.
Disability inclusion needs to be included in the fight for economic justice. Barriers to education and employment keep people with disabilities living in poverty. Ending poverty means addressing the drivers of economic inequality and reimagining the future of work.
The right to vote is a fundamental part of building a thriving democracy in which all citizens can become active, engaged participants. People with disabilities face obstacles to political participation that need to be addressed in the journey to inclusion.