It was Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” In this issue, we celebrate those voices piercing the silence to challenge the status quo on accessibility and inclusion.
According to recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19.1 percent of people in America living with disabilities were employed in 2021, as opposed to 63.7 percent of those not living with disabilities. Things needs to shift, now. It’s our goal and mission to continue being a part of and celebrating voices of change in our communities.
And this month’s cover story, Mandy Harvey, is a deaf singer who has used her voice to make a difference. Rising to star status after she wowed the country singing barefoot on the stage of America’s Got Talent, Harvey has dedicated her career to creating more inclusive spaces for artists and art lovers alike.
“There are so many ways to be more inclusive, but it has to be a thoughtful choice and not just wishing things were better,” said Harvey whose newest album, Paper Cuts, features ASL music videos and multilanguage captions for every song.
She travels to businesses and venues, bringing awareness to opportunities to create better accessibility while also visiting schools to talk to students about never giving up on their dreams and finding strength in their differences.
“More people are feeling like they have the ability to share their barriers with less fear of discrimination…we live in a world where we benefit immensely from diverse communities.” For more, read her story on page 72.
For the inclusivity-conscious employer, we encourage you to learn more about how you can implement safety and inclusion in your workspaces on page 66. If you’re wondering about the how’s, when’s, where’s and why to disclose your disability at work, take the opportunity to read our advice guide on page 26. Of course, we also took the time on page 44 to celebrate the diversity of the film CODA, which featured a primarily deaf cast and made history by shattering records this award season.
Remember, your voice can be the one that makes a difference and breaks the silence.
Editor, DIVERSEability Magazine