What is Disability EmpowHer Network?
Disability EmpowHer Network empowers young women with disabilities through transformational learning experiences. We recognize that disabled youth have significantly lower high school graduation rates and higher unemployment rates than their nondisabled peers. We know that people with disabilities are 2-4 times more likely to die or be critically injured in a disaster, and that women with disabilities are particularly vulnerable. We also know that disabled girls to not have disabled adult role models to be positive influences in their lives.
Through a multi-stage skill-building, empowerment, and mentoring program, we address all of these issues while also empowering disabled young women to take control of their lives and have the confidence to lead.
How does the program work?
Phase 1: Through a camping program, young disabled women discover basic survival skills, further develop their life skills, practice leadership, increase their independence and become more confident.
Phase 2: While camping, the girls meet successful disabled women and begin their year long mentoring relationships. Together, the disabled woman and girls work on individualized inclusive disaster strategy projects, achieve goals, & build self esteem.
Phase 3: Girls come together one year later in Washington, D.C. to practice their leadership skills while speaking with our nation's leaders about inclusive disaster strategies.
We can't do this without your help.
We are raising $15,000 in order to start Phase 1 and 2 of our program! We will take disabled young women to a fully accessible campground in the Adirondacks. We'll be providing a fully-funded, week-long, life changing experience for disabled young women, filled with fun and challenging activities as well as several successful disabled women mentors from across the nation that the campers can learn from and form lifelong relationships with.
Stephanie Woodward is an attorney, activist, and organizer passionate about Disability Rights and empowering people with disabilities. She has litigated disability rights cases, worked for two U.S. Senators, and led a disaster response ground team in Puerto Rico to assist disabled people in distress after Hurricane Maria. As a proud disabled woman, Stephanie credits her success to mentoring she received from member of the Disability Community starting in her early twenties and is committed to helping even more girls and young women with disabilities through mentoring.
Leah Smith has a decade's worth of experience working in the disability rights movement, all of which show her passion for equality for those at the margins. Leah has done a great deal of work at the intersection of media and disability justice, from managing an anti-suicide campaign aimed specifically towards people with disabilities to developing a national disability film festival looking at the institutional bias to spearheading efforts to de-stigmatize dwarfism to efforts to dismantle the stereotypes that the media places on disabled women. It has been through community with other women with disabilities that Leah has learned the most and is fully committed to ensuring that the next generation of disabled women have that same opportunity.
Portlight Strategies, Inc. All donations to Disability EmpowHer Network are tax-deductible thanks to our fiscal sponsor, Portlight Strategies, Inc. Portlight is a 501(c)3 which has been at the forefront of serving disabled people before, during, and in the aftermath of disasters for over 20 years and is proud to help the next generation of woman become leaders through inclusive disaster planning.
Whether you are able to give $5, $50, $500, or $5000, we thank you for joining the Disability EmpowHer Network! Your Contribution will be going directly to empowering young women with disabilities and we very much appreciate your support! Thank you!