UNTIL JUSTICE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES…JUST IS.
YWCA Greater Cleveland is proud to be a part of the Until Justice…Just Is campaign. Join us as we cover a different topic each month to explore some of the many areas in which true justice is needed, and what we can do to achieve equity in our community and our country until justice…just is.
This month, we believe that our goal to eliminate racism and empower women is directly dependent upon the full inclusion of people with disabilities in communities. Click here to take a deeper dive into how we can work to make this a reality as a community until justice for people with disabilities…just is. #UntilJusticeJustIs.
We Advocate for Ending Homelessness for People With Disabilities
- People with disabilities are disproportionately likely to experience homelessness.
- Studies suggest about 1/4 of people experiencing homelessness in America at any given time have a disability.
- People with disabilities experience housing, employment, and wage discrimination, often leaving them more likely to experience financial insecurity or homelessness for a prolonged period of time.
- Shelter environments are often inaccessible to or deny entry to people with disabilities.
- All of these factors are exacerbated for people of color with disabilities when combined with structural racism.
- Immediate increased access to affordable housing to avoid experiences with homelessness before they can begin, with a specific focus on people with disabilities to meet their specific needs.
- Centering the voices of people with disabilities in policy and practice changes to ensure individual needs are met.
- Increased access to and funding for supportive services that meet the true needs of people with disabilities experiencing homelessness.
- A specific focus on accessibility and medical care.
Where We Stand
YWCA Greater Cleveland believes that all people have a right to safe, stable housing. Our goal of eliminating racism and empowering women is directly dependent on ending homelessness.
We work to accomplish this goal by meeting immediate community need. Norma Herr Women’s Center and Cogswell Hall provide low-barrier shelter with a focus on trauma-informed care. Independence Place consists of 23 apartments for youth who have aged out of foster care, pairing them with a case manager who works to promote full self-sufficiency. All of our facilities welcome people with disabilities and are built to support accessibility.
We Advocate for Financial Security for People With Disabilities
- Despite the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in hiring and workplace practices, it continues to occur.
- People with disabilities often experience discrimination in hiring practices and in the workplace, creating extreme obstacles to achieving financial security.
- Applications may eliminate people with disabilities by asking questions about physical ability, workplace environments may not fully accommodate accessibility needs make it impossible to fully perform a job, jobs may penalize people with disabilities for missing work due to medical reasons, etc.
- People with disabilities often face exorbitant medical costs throughout their lifetime. When combined with employment discrimination, this can quickly lead to financial insecurity.
- Government support to people with disabilities is extremely limited. There is a large range of disabilities and individualized needs that are excluded from both the workplace and government support, leading to financial insecurity.
- Widespread, accessible access to healthcare to ensure people with disabilities can always meet their medical needs.
- Workplace-specific initiatives and legislation to ensure people with disabilities are hired, accommodated, retained, and promoted.
- Access to paid sick days and comprehensive paid family and medical leave programs.
- Centering the voices of people with disabilities to ensure their individual needs are being met by policy and practice changes.
- An expansion of government support to people with disabilities to support a larger range of people with need.
Where We Stand
The cornerstone of our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan is the economic advancement of all women and girls. We believe that the economic empowerment of people with disability is an integral part of doing so.
As we stand in solidarity with those working to achieve the economic empowerment of people with disabilities, we do our part as an organization designed to truly empower women from the inside out. We advance strong inclusion and accessibility throughout all parts of our organization, especially in our hiring and workplace policies and practices.
Additionally, we work to empower women with disabilities in the community through our supportive services at Norma Herr Women’s Center, Cogswell Hall, and Independence Place that support participants in achieving self-sufficiency.
We Advocate for Legislation to Support People with Disabilities
- While the monumental Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) serves as a starting point in meeting accessibility needs, it has left gaps that allows discrimination and exclusion against people with disabilities to continue to exist.
- The ADA defines what specific disabilities are included under its legislation, leaving many people living with disabilities unprotected.
- The ADA is often criticized for lowering employment rates for people with disabilities. Studies show employers predict potential accessibility costs or lawsuits and instead avoid hiring people with disabilities altogether instead.
- While the ADA key to increasing accessibility, it did not address the historical inequities that still exclude people with disabilities from employment, housing, education, and more.
- Expansion of the ADA to fully support people with disabilities.
- Centering the voices of people with disabilities when creating expansion to ensure their needs are truly being met.
- Expansion of government support to people with disabilities to ensure this population’s basic needs are met, including financial security, employment, and housing access.
- Specific legislation and funding to ensure accessible housing access to people with disabilities.
- Specific legislation and workplace initiatives to ensure people with disabilities are hired, accommodated, retained, and promoted.
Where We Stand
YWCA Greater Cleveland’s goal to eliminate racism and empower women is directly dependent upon the full inclusion of people with disabilities in our workplaces, educational systems, and communities. We believe expanded legislation is imperative in achieving this.
As we stand in solidarity with those working the expand accessibility legislation, we continue to work to meet community need. Norma Herr Women’s Center and Cogswell Hall provide low-barrier shelter with a focus on trauma-informed care. Independence Place consists of 23 apartments for youth who have aged out of foster care, pairing them with a case manager who works to promote self-sufficiency. All of our facilities welcome people with disabilities and are built to support accessibility.