accessiBe’s Nonprofit Partnership Program collaborates with hundreds of disability-focused organizations to spread awareness and knowledge regarding people with disabilities and their community. For February, we're honored to highlight these 5 organizations that are making a real change:
Introducing: Disability Rights AR
Mission: Disability Rights AR (DRA) protects and advocates for the civil and legal rights of people with disabilities in Arkansas while working to advance equity and inclusion, as well as real societal change through influencing public policy. DRA offers a wide variety of services that include legal representation, the monitoring of facilities, civil rights education and outreach, and voting rights advocacy.
Partnership Takeaways: Our partnership with Disability Rights AR has taught us that more people with disabilities want to become involved in the political process. They want to vote at the polls like everyone else, however, accessing the polls is a barrier for many people with disabilities. The organization showed us how imperative it is that poll workers need to know how to access the voting system for the voter - using headphones, large print, and the voting machine needs to be accessible so a voter can cast their ballot in private.
Introducing: You Belong
Mission: You Belong is a developing community that supports families, caregivers, and individuals of all abilities through its varying programs and worship opportunities. The nonprofit organization’s services are based on spiritual and educational principles; You Belong provides its members with an accessible church experience, opportunities to build personal relationships within the community, and developmental resources to anyone regardless of disability, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, cultural differences, or faith.
Partnership Takeaways: You Belong has shown us the importance of not only including people with disabilities in community settings but the significance of including their friends and family, as well. Through You Belong’s mission to provide a sense of inclusion and security to those with disabilities, caregivers, and anyone else who loves them, we’ve come to understand that enriching community relationships should support everyone not just within, but connected to the disability communities.
Introducing: The Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness
Mission: SCSC is connecting communities, raising awareness, and combating social isolation through a variety of programs; events, fellowships, Global symposiums, and more. The organization strives to foster connectedness through not just these events and programs, but further research, programming, partnerships, and advocacy, all in an effort to bring together the contributions of diverse scholars, students, advocates, and people with lived experiences.
Partnership Takeaways: The Samuel Centre has shown us that the global, Covid-19 pandemic has accomplished its share of increasing social isolation and there is much work and research to be done regarding the lack of community connections. The organization is now focusing even more on accessibility and inclusion in order to reach all communities, combat isolation, and accommodate their own fellows, some of whom are people with disabilities themselves.
Introducing: Cayuga Centers
Mission: Cayuga Centers has supported children and their families for over 170 years! They have 7 main hubs and additional chapters spanning the entire nation from east to west; providing services such as respite, family and youth therapy, intellectual and developmental disabilities support, unaccompanied migrant children services, and much more.
Partnership Takeaways: From our partnership with Cayuga Centers, we learned more about the organization’s community service project, Blooming Kindness. The project provides individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities support by giving them a way to give back to their own communities in the form of beautifully crafted flower bouquets. This not only provides project participants with a creative outlet that aids in self-expression but also offers the chance to spread joy and make connections while enhancing the quality of life for those receiving the bouquets in local hospitals and nursing homes.
Mission: 3i Housing of Maine is a non-profit organization that creates independent, community-based living options for adults with disabilities through innovative affordable housing and integrated support services. The organization aims to increase the opportunities available for independent living to those with mobility disabilities and is currently in the process of designing a fully-accessible affordable residential building in Greater Portland, Maine.
Partnership Takeaways: Our partnership with 3ihome taught us how important universal design is when it comes to comprehensive accessibility. Accessibility, within the housing sphere, is not just about building ramps for those using wheelchairs and posting braille next to signage; it’s also about utilizing advanced technology that gives people access to voice control functions which can be life-saving in emergency situations. Our Spotlight Session with 3iHome can be viewed here.
While each of our partners' missions and communities is different, they all work towards a common goal of inclusivity and accessibility. We believe that by working together, we can make the world a more accessible place!
Join accessiBe’s Nonprofit Partnership Program to join the community and start your accessibility journey with us today!