Events to promote disability inclusion

Disability, Inclusion & Access: Moving Forward launch event

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

The Heinz Endowments and FISA Foundation invited grantees, community leaders, and fellow funders to a program at the Heinz History Center to hear presentations from inspiring regional and national leaders, and consider opportunities for foundations and nonprofits to be more inclusive of people with disabilities.  We’re pleased to share photos from the event as well as these videos of our featured speakers:

KEYNOTE: The Role of Philanthropy in Promoting Disability Inclusion

Our featured speaker was Darren Walker, President of Ford Foundation, who shared his thoughts about the role of philanthropy in promoting disability inclusion.  Read Darren’s blog on the subject:  Ignorance is the enemy within: On the power of our privilege, and the privilege of our power.

Watch videos of other sessions from Disability, Inclusion & Access: Moving Forward launch event on November 21:

Welcoming remarks

Carmen Anderson, Director of Equity and Social Justice, The Heinz Endowments; Kristy Trautmann, Executive Director, FISA Foundation; Josie Badger, CRC, DHCE, President, J Badger Consulting, Inc.; and Chaz Kellem, Director, PittServes, University of Pittsburgh.


Disability as a Civil Rights Issue

Paul O’Hanlon, Chair, City/County Taskforce on Disability

Building an Inclusive Arts Community in Pittsburgh

Dennis Robinson, Jr., Director of Education and Accessibility, City Theatre; Vanessa Braun, Director of Accessibility and Manager of Employee Engagement, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust; and Regina McDonald Russian, Digital UX & Accessibility Specialist, Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh

Changing Systems and Eliminating Barriers in Education

Thena Robinson Mock, Program Officer, Communities for Just Schools Fund

Making Healthcare More Fully Accessible


Ashli Molinero, DSc, Director, UPMC Disabilities Resource Center 

Creating an Inclusive Culture for Young Children

Anne Fullenkamp, Director of Design, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Toward More Inclusive Employment

Joyce Bender, President and CEO, Bender Consulting

Disability in Philanthropy & Nonprofits: Data on Inclusion, Exclusion and How We Can do Better

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, President, RespectAbility,  shared the results of a recent national survey: Disability in Philanthropy & Nonprofits: A Study on the Inclusion and Exclusion of the 1-in-5 People Who Live with a Disability and What You Can Do to Make Things Better

Next Steps and Closing Comments

Carmen Anderson, Director of Equity and Social Justice, The Heinz Endowments; Kristy Trautmann, Executive Director, FISA Foundation & Closing – Josie Badger, President of J Badger Consulting Inc., and Chaz Kellem, Director of PittServes, University of Pittsburgh


Technical Assistance Webinars

two people collaborating while looking at a computer screen

Many organizations want their programs and services to be accessible to people with disabilities but aren’t sure how to make improvements.  We’re pleased to partner with Bender Consulting Services to offer a series of short (one hour) webinars, free of charge, to address common accessibility issues.  Each webinar will provide step-by-step instructions in an accessible format.  Together, the series will allow users to increase the accessibility of your agency’s communications, meetings and events.

Register for one or all of the webinars.  

Note: Live webinars will include audio description of the slides. Archived webinars will be available with captions.


Session 1: Disability 101: Understanding the Terms of Engagement

Cultural Factors and Considerations when Engaging with People with Disabilities

Wednesday, January 15, 2020; 2:00-3:00PM ET

This webinar session provides high level insight into effective practices for engaging with the disability community. Topics will offer inclusive communication and customer service strategies, address cultural considerations across a variety of disability types, and provide historical perspective into current trends for disability inclusion. Participants in the webinar will feel confident in their ability to successfully interact with people with disabilities in a meaningful and productive manner and identify and address barriers to program inclusion.



Session 2: Website Accessibility: The Ramps and Rails of the Digital World

Why Basic Website Accessibility is Important for Your Organization

Wednesday, January 29, 2020; 2:00-3:00PM ET

Understand how people with disabilities use and interact with the digital world and what solutions can be put in place to ensure an inviting and inclusive experience for visitors to your website. Learn how to increase traffic and return visits to your website, by avoiding color contrast failures, ineffective captioning, misuse of headings, and other common accessibility errors that cause people with disabilities to abandon your site. With legal cases involving inaccessible websites on the rise, it is more important than ever to learn about both the legal and business case for website accessibility. This session will provide basic tips for digital accessibility, including an overview of common accessibility errors and highlight the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.X.



Session 3: Document Accessibility: Can You Read This?

Creating Accessible Documents, Brochures, PDFs, Flyers, Reports and more

Wednesday, February 12, 2020; 2:00-3:00PM ET

Did you know that a lack of accessibility in documents can prevent readers from consuming information in a logical reading order? Learn about this common accessibility problems and understand how accessibility factors into the readability of the materials your organization is producing for marketing, donation requests, reporting, and daily administrative use. This session provides examples of common accessibility errors and provides accessibility tips and solutions for a variety of document types. Session participants will understand how to effectively use MS Office program tools to incorporate solutions and check for accessibility.



Session 4: Social Media Accessibility: Our Network Depends on it

Accessible Social Media Posts and Campaigns

Wednesday, February 26, 2020; 2:00-3:00PM ET

A strong social media presence is a crucial success factor for small and large organizations. Successfully navigating the process of creating accessible social media posts and campaigns can increase the return on social media engagement. This session will provide an outline of general social media accessibility concepts, an understanding of platform accessibility features for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and address disability social media etiquette. Participants will understand how to apply basic solutions to accessibility in the social media environment.



Session 5: Disability Smart Events: Welcoming, Not Simply Accommodating

Accessible Planning for Conferences, Workshops, Galas, Staff Meetings and More

Wednesday, March 11, 2020; 2:00-3:00PM ET

Discover tips for increasing facility and program accessibility. The session will highlight new and emerging trends in providing an inclusive experience for people with disabilities, establish a basic checklist of considerations to be addressed, and discuss how the introduction of these solutions can increase participation in community and workplace events. Participants in this webinar will feel confident in proactively addressing barriers for people with disabilities.



Funding opportunity

two workers collaborating at a desk

Apply for a small grant to increase accessibility at your nonprofit organization.

Request for proposals – Details coming soon!

RFP information session – Details coming soon!

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