Some 61 million people identify as having a disability — making this community the largest minority group, spanning all ages and every race, class, and creed. And while progress is being made, deeply rooted stigmas about disability still permeate society. This is especially so in our workplaces, including media, entertainment, branding, advertising, marketing, and communications – the very industries our company, Change for Balance, makes its business.
Change for Balance is a strategic communications and production company on a mission to change the world for the better. We work with some of today’s most important non-profits on the globe – supporting their strategic goals, showcasing their causes, sharing their stories, and connecting them to advocates, influencers and donors. There are many PR and marketing agencies out there, but we know we stand out because we make hiring people with disabilities a priority. That is our secret sauce: championing disability.
Among our clients is Easterseals, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations with a legacy of advancing full equity, inclusion, and access for people with disabilities throughout the lifespan with life-changing services and powerful advocacy delivered through its national network of Affiliates. Easterseals impacts the lives of 1.5 million people with disabilities each year through services and programs that enrich education, enhance health, expand employment, and elevate community for people with disabilities so that they can fully participate in society.
Together with Easterseals, we are committed to addressing outdated, ill-informed misperceptions of people with disabilities in the workplace. We know that people with disabilities bring talents and skills to employers as ultimate problem solvers with unlimited potential. By thinking differently, embracing inclusion and representation of people with disabilities as employees and leaders in our organizations, we make our products, content, and services more accessible for the one in four Americans living with disability today.
I applaud the many professionals with whom we engage who are making the “D” in diversity stand for disability – like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, CVS Health, and Voya Financial, to name a few. Please continue to find innovative ways to include disability in all aspects of your life and work. And if you need support or would like a partner — reach out.
The continuing pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion is incomplete without factoring in people with disabilities. When we better understand, appreciate, and embrace this powerful demographic and the myriad benefits that come from doing so – whether at work, in our neighborhoods, in the content we create and consume – we all win!
About the authors
Kristen Barnfield is a Partner at Change for Balance. A writer at heart, Kristen is an experienced strategist and communicator, with 20+ years executing successful branding efforts, internal/external communications, digital and integrated marketing, corporate development, fundraising, crisis work, entertainment, and influencer relations.