What True Equity Looks Like 32 Years After the ADA

In celebration of the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Inclusively partnered with C-Talent and the National Association of State Treasurers Foundation (NAST Foundation) to present the first ABLE Today webinar, which is one piece of the national initiative that the NAST Foundation launched this year.

Fill out our simple form to access the webinar.

Equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that was put in place to prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The law ensures that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else, and guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.

The resources shared in this webinar promote financial empowerment and employment inclusion across all industries for people with disabilities. Viewers and listeners will gain more information on:

  • What accessibility and inclusion looks like and how companies can follow practices to integrate universal and adaptive design into systems and procedures for people with disabilities.
  • How easy and affordable it is for employers to implement accommodations and adapt their existing processes to be inclusive to everyone.
  • What financial empowerment really means for people with disabilities and the necessary steps to take control of their own lives and financial futures.
Striving beyond compliance across multiple industries

Organizations have adopted the necessary practices to comply with the ADA, but there’s still more equity and inclusion that needs to be done across the disabled community. “Many companies have a lot of inclusive programs and procedures, but the community doesn’t know about them,” said Keely Cat-Wells, Founder of C-Talent. During the webinar, participants shared resources, tools, and platforms that go beyond offering basic compliance for people with disabilities to help create more equity in the workforce.

There are many organizations starting to help employers on their path to inclusion, but the best method for maintaining inclusivity in the workplace is to hire and retain individuals with disabilities. In the employment space, “we want to build one front door for all job seekers built upon the values of universal design, equity, accessibility, transparency, and empathy,” shared Charlotte Dales, CEO and Founder of Inclusively. Similar to the workforce, the media is a large entity that affects everyone, but there is a lack of inclusion of disabled people in front of and behind the camera. “It’s necessary that advertisements around services for disabled people be created with and by disabled people because it often gets missed,” explained Keely. “The power of lived experience is important.”

Expanding community inclusion for people with disabilities

One of the main takeaways from the webinar is that people with disabilities are a critical part of the national conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion. In order to foster greater empowerment for this community, we have to remove barriers and provide accommodations – access to financial literacy and equitable support for poverty-level limitations included. “People with disabilities have the right to learn about financial independence and empowerment,” shared Eric Ochmanek, ABLE Network Director at NAST Boards and Committees.

People with disabilities should be able to invest in their long-term financial well-being without any limitations. With more access to information around ABLE accounts, people with disabilities are empowered to make decisions that are right for them and their families.