Our 40th Anniversary

Accelerating our global campaign to achieve equity, accessibility, inclusion, and justice for all

Latest 40th Anniversary News

November 7 Calendar Illustration

Register for WID's 40th Anniversary Virtual Celebration!

For the past 4 decades, WID has been committed to advancing inclusion, independence and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. We warmly welcome you to join us as we celebrate this important milestone!

Our virtual event celebration will feature special guests, entertainment, and will highlight findings from our Global Strategic Planning Sessions. Below you will find the speakers and performers for the event. More information will follow in the coming weeks!

ASL and captioning will be provided. Requests for additional accommodations can be made through our registration form.

40th Anniversary Celebration Speakers and Performers

Lachi smiles while looking out the window and holding her walking cane


As a blind award-winning creator, recording artist, community leader and entrepreneur, Lachi has dedicated her platform and craft to amplifying Disability Culture, inclusion and visibility and advocating for accessibility.

A recording artist and songwriter, Lachi boasts millions of streams, dozens of awards and an NYU Steinhardt education. She’s collaborated with heavyweights like apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas and with Alicia Keys through She Is The Music.

As a Disability Culture change maker, Lachi tours the country spreading an engaging message on inclusion, identity and culture--for the corporate to creative workspace--through her powerful, high-energy keynote performances; blending narrative, storytelling and music.

Ali smiles with her arms crossed while sitting in her wheelchair.

Ali Stroker

Ali Stroker won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as ‘Ado Annie’ in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! She next stars as a series regular in Netflix’s upcoming limited series, Echoes. In Winter 2020, she starred in the Lifetime holiday film, Christmas Ever After.

She made history as the first actor in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway in Deaf West’s acclaimed 2015 revival of Spring Awakening. She starred in 12 episodes of The Glee Project, culminating in a guest role on Fox’s Glee. Ali can be seen in a key recurring role in the final season of Netflix's Ozark.

She recurred in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, the ABC series, Ten Days in the Valley and guest starred on CBS' Blue Bloods, Freeform's The Bold Type, Fox’s Lethal Weapon, CBS’ Instinct, The CW's Charmed and Comedy Central's Drunk History, where she portrayed WID co-founder Judy Heumann.

More speaker announcements coming soon!

Reflections on WID's Legacy

2023 marks 40 years since Judy Heumann, Ed Roberts, and Joan Leon founded the World Institute on Disability! Join us as we celebrate this incredible milestone throughout the year!

Our 40th anniversary global celebration will acknowledge advancements made within society by and for people with disabilities and what we collectively have achieved with our partners, funders, supporters, advocates, WID past leaders, staff, and allies. These advancements have not only benefited people with disabilities, but also society at large.

Ed Roberts, Judy Heumann, and Joan Leon talking and laughing in the original WID office

Celebratory Event with Verizon

Celebrating 40 Years of the World Institute on Disability, hosted by Verizon

Verizon celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the World Institute on Disability through a conversation with Executive Director Marcie Roth. Founded in 1983, WID supports people with disabilities worldwide, providing a pan-disability perspective across the human lifespan. Marcie Roth began advocating for people with disabilities in high school. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Marcie focused on improving emergency preparedness and disaster outcomes. Explore her history, and the history of WID, through this exciting discussion.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST


- Stefanie Dannenmann-Di Palma, External Relations Officer, United Nations Officer for Disaster Risk Reduction


- Marcie Roth,  Executive Director, World Institute on Disability


- Zachary Bastian, Manager, Strategic Alliances, Verizon

Strategic Planning Sessions

WID is hosting one-hour, voluntary, virtual Strategic Planning Sessions throughout the year to gain input from our communities to help us sharpen our focus, make strategic planning decisions informed by our global partners, and dedicate resources over the next ten years and beyond.

Your participation in this process will help WID to accelerate our global campaign to achieve equity, accessibility, inclusion, and justice for all.

Please take a moment to complete the sign-up form to share your interest in participating in one of our virtual, moderated group discussions. Please email us at marketing@wid.org if you need assistance.

Sponsorships and Partnerships

Help us to celebrate our 40th anniversary by joining us as an ally, visionary, and change-maker. Become a corporate partner, join our vision, and together we can continuously advance the rights and opportunities of more than one billion people with disabilities around the globe. If desired, we can customize your partnership to meet the goals of your company or organization.

Donate to WID

Please consider making an individual donation to WID during this celebratory milestone year. Your donation will have a tremendous impact within the communities we serve.

Your donations can also be made in honor or in memory of an individual, family, or other group, and an email from WID will be shared with them to let them know you’ve made a donation to WID in their honor or acknowledge their memory.

A young, stylish Black woman using a wheelchair smiles and types on her laptop
Black and white photo of WID staff of 30 people in the 80s/90s, including Ed and Joan

WID History

WID is proud of our rich history and how it shapes the important work that we do today. Learn more about our key achievements throughout the last 40 years by visiting our WID History Page.