The Disabilities Fund of The Chicago Community Trust promotes the development of programs, policy and public action that expands the empowerment, equal opportunity, inclusion and participation of diverse persons with disabilities in the Chicago region.
Despite 30 years of federal legislation (the Americans with Disabilities Act) supporting more inclusive treatment of people with disabilities, change has been slow and piecemeal. The Disabilities Fund wanted to leverage the 30-year anniversary of the ADA in order to advance the conversation around disability inclusion.
After producing a series of fact sheets and an animation about disability in the Chicago region, we realized we had great content and a motivated board of directors with a strong network—we just needed more channels to broaden and deepen the Fund’s reach.
Together with the Fund’s board of directors, we identified a campaign name—Accelerate Disability Inclusion—and worked with the Trust to reach local press outlets in time for the 30th anniversary. We had a blog post, testimonial video, press release and social media channels up and running. Thought leaders were featured on WBEZ, the local NPR station.
The campaign was organized around four key themes: 1) disability in the Chicago region; 2) the business case for disability inclusion; 3) youth and disability; and 4) disability and the racial wealth gap. Key leaders and innovators across the nonprofit, business and government sectors were interviewed in order to add context to the facts presented. Blog posts asked important questions and combined research with individual experience to provide a clearer picture. Social media posts invited people to share their own experiences and campaign resources with their networks.