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Is Your Federation Inclusive Of People With Disabilities?

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Is Your Federation Inclusive Of People With Disabilities?

Photo: The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington accommodates all accessibility requirements at events by including the required question in registration pages and personally reaching out to each individual who noted an accommodation. Courtesy of Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi

How a number of Federations are advancing disability inclusion in their communities.

December 27, 2017, 10:54 am
The New Normal | Blogging Disability
The New York Jewish Week

Across America many of the 148 Jewish Federations and Network communities are expanding their success significantly by including people with disabilities equally in their mission, impact and communities. At RespectAbility, we are very fortunate to work closely with several such Federations. For example, last week our director of public and practices, Philip Kahn-Pauli, spoke to dozens of leaders at UJA Federation of NY. The audience included numerous Jewish agencies and synagogue professionals who meet regularly on disability issues. We are working together to overcome numerous challenges, including the facts that only 43 percent of students with disabilities in NYC graduate high school, and that only 1-in-3 who are of working age have a job.

We have been thrilled to see coordination and collaboration happening through HaMercaz in Los Angeles, MetroWest New Jersey and Jewish Family Services in Houston, Texas. Each of these communities demonstrates how leaders and organizations are stronger and better when they work together.

In our own backyard, our team continues to work closely with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington (JFGW). From their mission statement to the language on their website and everything that they do, Inclusion of People of All Abilities is clearly a priority. They are doing terrific work. JFGW has a full-time community inclusion specialist, a robust disability inclusion committee and, for the third year, an intern from the local JFGH