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Thursday, October 06, 2016

Ford Foundation Examines Disability Inequality

Many conversations about inequality of sub groups of our community seem to focus on race, gender, and religion but very rarely is the conversation centered on the inequality those with disabilities face. Disability inequality is often overlooked as a very real concern.

Last year the Ford Foundation announced that FordForward would focus on "disrupting inequality" and among the thousand of mostly congratulatory emails came one that pointed out they made no mention of a huge community: the more than 1 billion people around the world who have a disability. "I applaud you for taking on inequality. But when you talk about inequality how can you not talk about people with disabilities?" The president of Ford Foundation, Darren Walker, was also, rightfully he admitted, called a hypocrite.

Many others pointed out that the Ford Foundation "does not have a person with visible disabilities on our leadership team; takes no affirmative effort to hire people with disabilities; does not consider them in our strategy; and does not even provide those with physical disabilities with adequate access to our website, events, social media, or building. Our 50-year-old headquarters is currently not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)"

Mr Walker didn't just take the information that was pointed out to him and dismiss it, but instead he took accountability for the lack of mention of disability inequality and in an annual letter he addressed it and committed to make things better.

Read his letter in full here - Ignorance is the Enemy Within: On the power of our privilege and the privilege of our power.

Read the response by Respect Ability - Ford Foundation Stuns with New Announcement

Thank you Darren Walker and the Ford Foundation, for bringing these issues to the forefront.

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