Disability Nonprofit RespectAbility Launches 2021 Strategic Plan with a Virtual Event

National Cross-Disability Nonprofit RespectAbility Calls for Massive Attitudinal, Policy, and Programmatic Disruption of Status Quo through Bold New Strategic Plan

Los Angeles, CA, Sept. 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- RespectAbility, a diverse disability-led nonprofit that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community, officially announced the release of its new strategic plan. The plan is the culmination of a year-long process that brought together a cadre of key influencers from across the country, building upon evidence-based research, refinement, and results from the past eight years. The result is a bold, forward-looking, and visionary five-year roadmap to shatter old paradigms by engaging in a multifaceted approach to remove physical, programmatic, and attitudinal barriers to full societal participation by people with all types of disabilities.

On Friday, October 1 at 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT, RespectAbility Chairman Ollie Cantos leads this conversation with Board Officers Vivian Bass, Delbert A. Whetter and Randall Duchesneau. Learn more about the strategic plan and what is next for RespectAbility. This free webinar will include ASL interpretation and live captioning. Register on RespectAbility’s website: https://www.respectability.org/2021/08/respectability-2021-strategic-plan-launch-event.

“As we look to the future to envision the full scope of what is truly possible, the challenges of today warrant nothing less than decisive and organized action,” said Ollie Cantos, the recently-elected Chairman of RespectAbility’s Board of Directors and the first member of the AAPI community to lead a national cross-disability group. “When individuals, organizations, private sector companies, and government agencies at all levels come together to achieve concrete and measurable outcomes that truly matter, everyone benefits.”

The strategic plan is driven by three foundational elements: 1) developing leaders, 2) changing attitudes and 3) advancing opportunities, as well as three core tenets: 1) diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; 2) collaboration; and 3) commitment to performance metrics. The combination of these elements and tenets operationally drives the growth and development of four key programmatic areas of focus, which work together to advance major progress for the 1-in-5 people who live with a physical, sensory, cognitive, mental health, chronic pain, or other disability:

  • ENTERTAINMENT AND NEWS MEDIA: Increase diverse and authentic representation of disabled people in media, both on screen and behind the camera/keyboard, so they are seen for what they can do instead of what they cannot.
  • LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: Enable diverse people with disabilities to participate fully in decision-making and have seats at decision-making tables.
  • PUBLIC POLICY AND PRACTICES: Break down barriers and promote best practices in education, employment, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and access.
  • FAITH INCLUSION: Ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in faith-based communities.

RespectAbility’s strategic plan incorporates several additional priorities, including working with allies at the state level and beyond to build coalitions and expand positive change, emphasizing policies that impact transition-aged disabled youth, and focusing on access and civic engagement. RespectAbility’s nonpartisan policy team continues to develop resources for parents and students to close achievement gaps that disproportionately impact BIPOC communities and English Language Learner (ELL) students with disabilities. RespectAbility’s entertainment and news media consulting work continues to broaden as studio partners increase their interest in authentic and meaningful portrayals of disability on screen. RespectAbility also will dramatically grow its speaker and training bureau on disability inclusion and issues.

RespectAbility is rated at the Platinum level by GuideStar and has won numerous awards for its effectiveness. Read the full strategic plan on RespectAbility’s website: https://www.respectability.org/2021strategicplan.


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