What We Do
Diversability is an award-winning global movement to rebrand disability that began in Washington, DC with Tiffany Yu in 2009.
We foster community online and off to connect, showcase, and empower people of all abilities doing amazing things. We want to get more people talking and thinking about disability as a core part of the diversity conversation. We unite the disability community, engage allies, and celebrate disability pride and empowerment.
Something powerful happens when we bring people with and without disabilities together and create a space where everyone is included and everyone matters. Inclusion greatly influences how we see ourselves, helps us feel empowered and builds self-esteem and self-confidence. We can start to change perceptions of disability when we connect in-person, humanize disability, and share stories.
In New York alone, we have showcased some amazing people in our community, such as Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Jason DaSilva and Alice Cook; Ms. Wheelchair America 2011 Alexandra McArthur; TEDx speaker Becky Curran; exemplar for the AT&T and NYU Connect Ability Challenge Xian Horn; and more. And we were honored to receive the 2015 Bell Greve Memorial Award from the National Rehabilitation Association for our programming.
We encourage our community and our allies to dream bigger and do great things. We oftentimes underestimate our abilities, but it’s amazing what people can do if just given the chance. Take Amanda Frantz, who took her jewelry business to the next level when she created The DiversAble Model Project, or Alisa Goldman, Diversability's former Director of Content, who went on to create Healing Honestly, an online platform to speak about healing from trauma. They, and many others, are everyday role models who have expanded the world around us.
Is Diversability a non-profit?
Diversability LLC is a for-profit, social good company. We believe that being a for-profit company gives us better flexibility to work with non-profits, not rely on grants, and create a sustainable business model.
What is Disability?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one of more major life activity. People with a disability may include:
- people who are blind or partially sighted
- people with learning or intellectual disabilities
- people who are deaf or hard of hearing
- people with a physical disability
- people with long term or chronic illnesses
- people with mental health or psychological difficulties
- people with an acquired brain injury
For us, simply put, disability is diverse. We want to give people the space to identify as they feel comfortable.
We are run by a team of passionate volunteers. Everyone who is a part of the Diversability community is part of our team. Below you'll find a small selection of who we are.
What People are Saying
- Winner, the Guardian's My Side Hustle Wins
- Winter/Spring 2016 Ben Appelbaum Foundation (BAF) Master Class
- Selected Project, Radish Lab Discovery Lab Beta Workshop
- Finalist, Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs
- Winner, National Rehabilitation Association Bell Greve Memorial Award
- Finalist, American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Hearne Leadership Award
- Winner, Reimagine Georgetown Grant
A Note from the Founder
January 21, 2015
My story begins almost 20 years ago when I was involved in a car accident that left me with a disability, but the real turning point was in 2009.
I was participating in a conversation on diversity in my final year at Georgetown University, and noticed that disability was missing from that conversation. That's when I started Diversability, a movement dedicated to raising disability awareness and reshaping conceptions of ability. We had an amazing year, from receiving a Reimagine Georgetown Grant to hosting our first event--"The Ability to Laugh"--to making headlines on the front page of The Hoya.
Over the next couple of years, Diversability was led by an incredible group including Eric, Jeff, Kate, and Nancy.
I stayed involved in the broader disability community through Lime Connect, the Disability Interest Forum at Goldman Sachs, and B-ABLE at Bloomberg. But over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed a need for something like Diversability to exist to bring people together and get people of all abilities engaged in the conversation. It seemed like the perfect time to bring Diversability back and expand past the campus.
People with disabilities are more than just "people with disabilities." We are entrepreneurs, executives, whatever we want to be. We are people with diverse abilities.
Thank you for being a part of this journey and movement.