Diversability

Celebrating our diverse disability lived experiences through the power of community

Diversability is an award-winning movement to rebrand disability through the power of community.

What We Do

Diversability is an award-winning global movement that began in Washington, DC with Tiffany Yu in 2009.

We foster community online and off to connectshowcase, 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. We are working to address social isolation and the loneliness epidemic.

Connect

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.

Showcase

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.

Empower

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.

Our Impact

Our work to contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) put forward by the United Nations (more on SDGs and Disability). Specifically, we seek to impact: #1) No Poverty, #3) Good Health and Well-Being, #5) Gender Equality, #8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, #10) Reduced Inequalities, and #17) Partnerships to achieve the Goals.

FAQ

Are you trying to change the word disability?

No. We are called Diversability because we believe that disability is diversity and that disability is diverse and we want to showcase that in everything that we do. Use of terms as an alternative to “disabled” are not considered appropriate because they can be seen as condescending, offensive or a way of avoiding talking about disability.

We are proud of our disabled identity.

That said, we understand that language is complex and suggest asking the disabled person about their preferred terminology.

As the National Center on Disability and Journalism mentions, when referencing us, “use ‘Diversability’ as a proper name. Otherwise, use the terms ‘disabled’, ‘disability’ or ‘person with a disability.’”

Check out the Disability Writing & Journalism Guidelines for more guidance on language.

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.

Member of the Female Founder Collective

As of January 2019, Diversability is an authorized user of the Female Founder Collective certification mark. The Female Founder Collective (FFC) was founded by Rebecca Minkoff and is a network of businesses led by women.

More than 1 billion of us live with disabilities. We must remove all barriers that affect the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in society, including through changing attitudes that fuel stigma and institutionalize discrimination.
— Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations

What is Disability?

An individual with a visible or invisible disability is defined as someone who has, or considers themselves to have, a long-term, or recurring, issue that impacts one or more major activities that others may consider to be a daily function; this definition also includes the perception among others that a disability exists. (source: Lime Connect).

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 neurological differences

  • people with an acquired brain injury

For us, simply put, disability is diverse. We know that the majority of disabilities are invisible and we want to give people the space to identify as they feel comfortable.