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Disability Language

Click here for a transcript of this webinar.

Words matter. Wherever foundations may be on their journeys to inclusion, questions arise about how to talk about disability. For instance: Should we say “people with disabilities” or “disabled people”? Is it ok to say the word “disability”? What terms and language are empowering and respectful? How is the language of disability evolving? Learn about key aspects of disability and language from Emily Ladau, Digital Content and Community Manager for the Forum and Editor in Chief of Rooted in Rights. She has written for outlets including HuffPost and The New York Times, and authored the forthcoming book, Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally. Emily will be in conversation with Presidents’ Council Communications Strategist Gail Fuller.

This free learning session was open to members of the Disability & Philanthropy Forum. It was the second of a four-part series designed to address key steps on the journey to disability inclusion, made possible by the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy.

About the Speakers

A white woman with curly brown hair wearing glasses and a black and red floral top.

Emily Ladau, Digital Content and Community Manager, Disability & Philanthropy Forum

Emily Ladau is a passionate disability rights activist, writer, storyteller, and digital communications consultant whose career began at the age of 10, when she appeared on several episodes of Sesame Street to educate children about her life with a physical disability. She serves as the Editor in Chief of the Rooted in Rights Blog, a platform dedicated to amplifying authentic narratives on the disability experience through an intersectional lens. Her writing has been published in outlets including The New York Times, SELF, Salon, Vice, and HuffPost and her first book, Demystifying Disability, is being published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in fall 2021. Emily has spoken before numerous audiences, from the U.S. Department of Education to the United Nations. Central to all of her work is a focus on and harnessing the power of storytelling as a tool for people to become engaged in disability and social justice issues.

Photo of Gail taken outdoors. She is smiling into the camera and is wearing a red blazer with a black shirt and silver necklace. Her hair is in a short bob with bangs.

Gail Fuller, Communications Strategist, Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy

Gail Fuller is a marketing and communications strategist who aligns her professional experience with her personal commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. She founded Gail Fuller Communications to help organizations achieve their goals by strengthening their communication strategies, enhancing their brands, amplifying their stories, elevating the voices of core audiences, and building more inclusive cultures. With more than 30 years of marketing, communications, and community relations experience, Gail’s career has spanned several industries, including nonprofit, corporate, publishing, sports, and philanthropy.