RespectAbility Business Plan

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RespectAbility Business Plan

Transcript of RespectAbility Business Plan

  • 2013 Business PlanJennifer Laszlo Mizrahi

    CEO, RespectAbilityPhone: (240) 744-0543

    email: JLM@LaszloStrategies.com4340 East-West Hwy, Suite 350, Bethesda, MD 20814

    www.RespectAbilityUSA.org

  • 2Mission Statement

    RespectAbilityUSA.org is a new national, non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is (a) to reshape the attitudes of American society so that people with disabilities can more fully participate in and contribute to society, and (b) to empower people with disabilities to achieve as much of the American Dream as their abilities and efforts permit. RespectAbility will work to educate, sensitize and engage Americans to focus on what people with disabilities can do, rather than on what they cannot do.

    RespectAbility thereby will seek gradually, steadily, and in a practical way to help increase the number and percentage of disabled Americans who engage in gainful employment, start and sustain their own businesses, lift themselves into the middle class, and participate in their communities as fully as their abilities and efforts will take them.

  • 31. Executive Summary ....................................................................................................................3

    2. The Need and The Stakeholders ................................................................................................6

    2.1 Elected Officials, Policy Makers & Government ...............................................................7

    2.2 Disability Groups ................................................................................................................8

    2.3 Private Sector Role ...........................................................................................................10

    2.4 Faith-Based Groups ...........................................................................................................11

    2.5 Philanthropists .................................................................................................................11

    2.6 Media ................................................................................................................................12

    3. Tactics and Goals ......................................................................................................................13

    3.1 Create our Infrastructure and Team .................................................................................13

    3.2 Conduct baseline research for messaging and contacts to achieve a platform for education on key disability and independence issues ................................14

    3.3 Provide policy leaders, press and philanthropists the facts and contacts they need to support meaningful progress which can help empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream of a job, freedom, equal rights and independence ........................................................................................15

    3.4 Give top-level decision makers the ability to make personal connections with people with disabilities and successful programs to empower them to make these issues a much higher priority .....................................................................18

    4. Our Team ..................................................................................................................................19

    4.1 Management & Administration for RespectAbility ........................................................19

    4.2 The Public Opinion Experts/Key Strategist .....................................................................21

    4.3 The Communications Team ............................................................................................22

    4.4 Board of Directors and Board of Advisors ........................................................................23

    5. Where to Send Tax-Deductible Donations ..............................................................................26

    6. Budget for Year One ..................................................................................................................27

    Appendix ......................................................................................................................................29

    Links to Relevant Op-Eds and Press Clips ...................................................................................30

    Table of Contents

  • 4Executive Summary

    Approximately 70% of working-age Americans with disabilities dont have jobs. As a result, millions live in or near poverty and are denied access to achieving the American dream.

    For too long people with disabilities have been an afterthought in the corridors of political power. They are typically used as political pawns in the days before elections and then forgotten for months or years thereafter. If we are to be a true democracy ALL voices must be heard, including those who cannot always literally stand up and speak out for themselves.

    Until now the disability community was fragmented into individual efforts, undermining the power of collective action. With your help all that can change.

    RespectAbility is a new Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit non-partisan organization whose mission is to empower citizens with disabilities and their loved ones to have a seat at Americas public policy and political table so they can work to achieve the American dream.

    All men are created equal and endowed with equal rights.

    As Abraham Lincoln said, these permanent truths from our Declaration of Independence are applicable to all men and all times. Now, hundreds of years after the founding of America, and long since, women, racial, ethnic and religious minorities have begun to claim their own rights, it is long overdue for Americans with disabilities to claim theirs as well.

    RespectAbility will comprise three essential components:

    1) We will use top experts in strategic communications and the latest in public opinion research (including focus groups and polls) to understand the hopes, dreams and challenges of Americans with disabilities, and then translate that information straight to policymakers in Washington and leaders across America.

    2) We will seek and vet cost-effective best practices to help people with disabilities achieve independence.

    3) We will use sophisticated strategic communications to share best practices with decision-makers including government officials, other policy makers, campaign consultants, media, philanthropists, CEOs, human resource directors, job creators, clergy, nonprofit and leaders in other arenas.

    In the short term our core work will focus on helping Americans with physical and intellectual disabilities, mental health issues, as well as wounded warriors, get or create jobs and become independent. In order to leverage the power of our research and strategy RespectAbility will partner with existing nonprofit disability organizations and leaders. We will provide them with free public opinion research resources and media training so that they can be more effective advocates for Americas approximately 57 million citizens with disabilities.

  • 5RespectAbility will use education, performance metrics and facts to change perceptions among decision-makers in government and corporate America.

    We will show that:

    Millions more Americans with disabilities can work to achieve the American dream and improving the bottom line of companies, government, overall progress for society at large and the individuals with disabilities themselves.

    Employers who hire people with disabilities can enjoy profitability and do good at the same time.

    With a focus on cost-effective, evidence-based and inclusive ways to enable people with disabilities to achieve respect, live and work productively, achieve greater economic self-sufficiency, dignity and a better future, RespectAbility will be a fair broker of factual and breakthrough information that leaders can trust.

    There is a mantra within the disability community, nothing about us without us which we wholeheartedly share and support. People with disabilities and their loved ones will be an important part of both our staff and our Board of Directors and Board of Advisors.

    We expect our work to include:

    Creation and dissemination of focus group reports from working-age Americans with disabilities who want to work. The focus groups will explore those hand-ups Americans with disabilities feel they need so they can end hand-outs and achieve the American dream. Focus groups will include their perceptions of the current benefits system, which initial research shows many feel is more of a prison than a hand-up.

    Creation and dissemination of benchmark polling regarding a range of disability issues to hundreds of leaders of disability groups and elected officials so they can understand what the 57 million Americans with disabilities want from their leaders and for themselves.

    Distribution to leaders of case studies and access to experts on best practices for job creation that are win-win

    RespectAbility CEO Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi and co-founding board member Shelley Cohen with Gov. Jack Markell

    Everyone who wants to work and participate fully in society should have the opportunity to do so. Research indicates that 67 percent of working-age people with disabilities would rather be working than be unemployed and nonproductive. Yet, the United States spends an estimated $300 billion annually to support people with disabilities who are unemployed.

    Gov. Jack Markell (D-DE)National Governors Association Chair

  • 6for both employers and people with disabilities