Highlighting African Americans with Disabilities in Honor of Black History Month

| February 6, 2018 | 0 Comments

The entertainment industry’s partner on the inclusion of people with disabilities.

 

RespectAbility celebrates Black History Month by recognizing the contributions made by African American people disabilities.There are 5.6 million African Americans living with a disability in the U.S., 3.4 million of which are working-age African Americans with disabilities. Therefore, we would like to reflect on the realities and challenges that continue to shape the lives of African Americans with disabilities

Some celebrities and business leaders are using their voice to share their stories, educating people about both visible and invisible disabilities. They are defying the statistics and have remained highly successful with their disabilities. These role models make a big difference in setting high expectations for youth with disabilities. People with disabilities of all backgrounds can be amongst the highest achievers on earth. Harriet Tubman had Epilepsy, actress Halle Berry lives with diabetes, business leader and Shark Tank superstar Daymond John is dyslexic and Stevie Wonder is blind. Each of them is a positive role model for success. They are perfect candidates for RespectAbility’s #RespectTheAbility campaign, which is shining a light on individuals with disabilities who are succeeding in their chosen careers. For the first week, this campaign is shining the spotlight on black individuals with disabilities who are entertainment celebrities or who are leaders in the work in Hollywood inclusion.

Our nation’s economy is strongest when it is inclusive of the value that diverse talent brings to the workplace. These celebrities are making a difference in how audiences perceive disability. However, companies including Amazon, Starbucks, Pepsi, J.P. MorganChase, Walmart and others exemplify these values and have specific programs to hire, cultivate and promote people with disabilities. What these businesses have found is that employees with disabilities are loyal, successful and help them make more money.

The celebrities mentioned above below are especially important to acknowledge during Black History Month. However, their work should be valued and appreciated year-round. RespectAbility will be highlighting additional African American celebrities, as well as those who have made important policy advancements, with disabilities throughout the entire month.

“I see the world in a different way than most people and for me, that’s been a positive thing.” – Shark Tank star and businessman Daymond John, who has Dyslexia.

Deafblind lawyer Haben Girma advocates for inclusion in both education and Hollywood.

Harriet Tubman did not let her epileptic seizures stop her from risking her life to free slaves through the underground railroad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well-known actress Halle Berry has both Type One Diabetes and hearing loss.

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