Timeline of Significant Accomplishments
WID has worked on a wide range of projects, legislation, and collaborations over the past 40 years, more than we could hope to cover here! Below are some highlights of the work we have done - the timeline will be updated at the end of each year with our current projects.
2021 to 2022
Launch of the 10th and 11th DB101 Sites
WID launched 2 new DB101 websites: Colorado in 2021 and Illinois in 2022, bringing the total to 11 DB101 states.
Launch of Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration (GADRA)
WID in partnership with disability-led organizations (DLOs), businesses, and other organizations launched the Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration (GADRA), a unique alternative to traditional charity approaches to disaster aid led by disability-led organizations
2018 to 2021
Transportation Resilience, Accessibility & Climate Sustainability (TRACS)
WID collaborated with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) for a two and a half year research and community engagement project to stimulate connection and communication between the community of seniors & people with disabilities together with the transportation system– the agencies in the region local to the San Francisco Bay, served by MTC.
TRACS investigated and documented the state of accessibility of our local transportation systems. We created an active ten-member Policy Advisory Group, then conducted interviews, focus groups, surveys and workshops, to offer information and invite input from all our stakeholder communities.
The findings from this study can be found on our Transportation Accessibility page
Launch of Kentucky DB101
WID launched the ninth DB101 state website, Kentucky DB101
2016 to 2017
CFPB Your Money, Your Goals
WID worked with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to ensure that their financial literacy resources and tools were accessible and relevant for people with disabilities.
2015 to 2021
With the support of JPMorgan Chase, WID made national conferences more accessible for people with disabilities. WID coordinated accessibility services including captioning and ASL interpretation, an on-site Disability Concierge Desk, and scholarships with accessible accommodations and mobility equipment rentals for people with disabilities who wanted to attend the conferences.
In 2020, when many conferences were cancelled or moved to virtual environments, WID developed a suite of resources hosted on our Conference Access Resources page to help conferences make their virtual and hybrid events accessible.
2015 to 2017
FDIC Money Smart
WID worked with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to make their Money Smart book accessible and relevant for people with disabilities
2015 to 2016
Launch of 2 More DB101 Sites
WID launched 2 new DB101 websites: Ohio in 2015 and Alaska in 2016, bringing the total to 8 DB101 states.
Start of WID's Accessibility Consulting Services
WID began working directly with companies to make their products and services accessible to people with disabilities via disability-led surveys and focus groups, user experience testing, climate assessments and audits, training, and advisory services.
2014 to 2017
ABLE Account Advocacy
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was passed in 2014, allowing people with disabilities in the U.S. who were diagnosed with a disability before the age of 26 to open an ABLE account, to save thousands of dollars without impacting their disability benefits via the standard $2,000 asset limit. WID worked on outreach to share information about ABLE acconts with people with disabilities, hosted a launch event, and also advocated for amendments to the ABLE Act to expand the program eligibility.
2014 to 2015
Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities as Part of the Solution in the Post Conflict Arena
WID worked with the United States Institute of Peace to publish a case study that took place in Sierra Leone about the disproportionate impact of the violent conflict and war on people with disabilities. The case study is called “The Involvement of Persons with Disabilities in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding Efforts: Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PWD) as Part of the Solution in the Post Conflict Arena” and was revised February 2015. Link to the accessible PDF of the case study
2014 to 2015
EQUITY Book and Videos Are Published
WID combined all of our asset-building tools into several YouTube videos and an 8-chapter, 100-page book, "EQUITY: Asset-Building Strategies for People with Disabilities", which covers core topics ranging from navigating benefits to identity theft to retirement.
If you would like a copy of EQUITY, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
2012 to 2017
Nutrition Education, Weight Myths, Disability Opportunities, Options and Resources (NEW DOOR)Nutrition Education, Weight Myths, Disability Opportunities, Options and Resources (NEW DOOR)* was a large, collaborative research project on fitness and nutrition that explored barriers to healthy lifestyles for people with disabilities. It aimed to provide accessible, disability-friendly exercise, nutrition, and peer-support activities, information, and resources. The project included three disability community fitness fairs and a website full of recipes, tips, and resources.*The original title of the project used the word "obesity", but was retroactively re-named and edited to be more inclusive and respectful of people with disabilities of size
2012 to 2014
Justice and Dignity in the Middle East-North Africa Region Program
WID participated in rapid response projects with marginalized populations — disabled persons and women, for example — to increase their engagement in elections and the political process.
2011 to 2012
Launch of 3 More DB101 Sites
WID launched 3 new DB101 websites: Arizona, Missouri, and Michigan, bringing the total to 6 DB101 states.
Ed Roberts Campus Opens
The Ed Roberts Campus was built in the memory of Disability Rights Movement leader and WID co-founder, Ed Roberts. The building is uniquely designed to be accessible to a wide range of people with disabilities, and is considered an example of universal design. The campus is jointly owned by a group of 7 disability organizations, including WID. WID remains a proud partial owner of the building, welcoming international delegations of disabled leaders for tours and discussions.
2009 to 2014
Georgian Wheelchair Production Network
The Georgian Wheelchair Production Network established a sustainable wheelchair production and repair facility and a postural support seating and cushion service. It developed a mobility, self-care, and advocacy skills training system for wheelchair users, and is conducting advocacy, public education, and community accessibility barrier removal activities.
Launch of 3rd DB101 Site
WID launched the Minnesota DB101 website, the third DB101 state.
Proyecto Visión worked to bridge cultural and language gaps to create relevant support for Latinx people with disabilities ages 16 to 35 to successfully transition from school to higher education, independent living, and employment. The program included providing role models and mentors, and eventually expanded to include other multiply-marginalized young people with disabilities.
2008 to 2009
Community Advocacy Training in Iraq
WID collaborated with Mercy Corps and the Iraqui National Disability Coalition to adapt, train and implement WID’s community advocacy training model with youth disability leaders from Sunni, Shia and Kurdish disability NGOs and across multiple regions.
Launch of Second DB101 State Website
WID launched the New Jersey DB101 website
Latinos with Disabilities in the United States Understanding & Addressing Barriers to Employment
WID released an in-depth analysis in Spanish and English, “Latinos with Disabilities in the United States Understanding & Addressing Barriers to Employment” about the challenges Latinos with Disabilities face in the U.S. job market. The publication included employment practices and individual success stories.
2004 to 2014
Access to Assets Program
WID’s Access to Assets project began in 2004, to open doors for the disability community by promoting asset building and financial literacy amongst people with disabilities. It included a series of national, in-person asset building seminars explained how to build a banking relationship, reduce debt, start a small business, save for retirement, and purchase and sustain home ownership. In addition to training, WID had regular newsletters for over a decade under the “EQUITY” initiative in order to spread information about these tools.
2004 to 2006
International Disability Advocacy Training Network
WID implemented a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded disability advocacy training network between countries in conflict (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Abkhazia, Russia and America)
After 2 years of planning and building, WID launched the first Disability Benefits 101 (DB101) website, California DB101. DB101 is a comprehensive, state-specific online digital resource that enables people with disabilities and their circles of support to make informed decisions about employment.
Integrating Universal Design Principles in Asset Building Programs
WID published “Integrating Universal Design Principles in Asset Building Programs”. Universal design began as a physical accommodation and revolutionized the idea of what access can be.
National Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act
WID’s health and benefits policy recommendations are found in the U.S. National Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act that was passed on November 17, 1999
1998 to 2002
Personal Assistance Abuse Research Projects
The Oregon Health and Science University funded WID’s Women’s Personal Assistance Services Abuse Research Projectin 1998, followed by the Men’s Personal Assistant Services Abuse Research Project in 2002.
1995 to 1999
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center project
The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center project was a four year subcontract under Gallaudet University. It researched strategies to ensure access to telecommunications and new information systems for people with disabilities. An innovative feature of this project was its research into access for people with cognitive disabilities.
1995 to 1997
WID and the All-Russian Society of the Disabled (ARSD) partnered to develop in-service a training system for 6000 ARSD staff in over 50 regions in management, social services, legislation, disability awareness and public education through the media.
Society for Disability Studies
WID hosted the Society for Disability Studies in Oakland which brought non-academic scholars, program developers, and policy-makers together with academic scholars and generated public dialogue on disability issues.
Ed Roberts Memorial Post-Doctoral Fellowships in Rehabilitation Research Program
WID and UC Berkeley collaborated to launch the Ed Roberts Memorial Post-Doctoral Fellowships in Rehabilitation Research Program, supporting the research and career development of promising leaders in the field of rehabilitation and independent living.
1994 to 1996
Opened WID Office in Moscow for Training
WID opened an office in Moscow to train representatives of the All-Russian Society of the Disabled, a 2.4 million-member organization, in management, public education, and media.
1994 to 1996
Universal Access Project
Universal Access Project formulated technical strategies and policy options to ensure access for people with disabilities to the emerging information superhighway.
1993 to 1994
Honduras Peace Scholarship
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ‘s Academy for Educational Development’s funded WID’s Honduras Peace Scholarship program.
The Community Yardstick
WID worked in partnership with CIL, Berkeley; Harlem ILC; and St. Louis Paraquad, to implement the “Community Yardstick,” a training and set of indicators to help people with disabilities measure the quality of life in their communities and create necessary change.
Realizing the Rehabilitation Potential for Individual Living with HIV/AIDS
WID began an AIDS and disability project funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, titled “Realizing the Rehabilitation Potential for Individual Living with HIV/AIDS.” The Division’s work also included developing and demonstrating the effectiveness of an HIV/AIDS disability support group for women of color, training for wide audiences, and working with four State Rehabilitation Agencies (NY, NJ, FL and CA) to improve systems for people with HIV/AIDS.
The HIV/AIDS & Disability Division also developed “Vocational Rehabilitation and HIV/AIDS: A Resource and Training Manual” for vocational rehabilitation counselors. WID conducted local and national training, technical assistance, and research on HIV/AIDS related disabilities and produced a video on the disabling effects of HIV disease.
1992 to 1995
Leadership Training for El Salvadorans and Hondurans with Disabilities and Service Providers
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Development Associates funded leadership training for El Salvadorans and Hondurans with Disabilities and Service Providers/CLASP II
1991 to 1997
Special Projects and Demonstration Improving Rehab Services for Persons with HIV
From 1991- 1997, the Department of Education funded the Special Projects and Demonstration Improving Rehab Services for Persons with HIV to train counselors in 4 states about the needs of clients with HIV/AIDS
Designing Accessibiliy Into the Information Superhighway
Under the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) of the US Department of Commerce, WID collaborated with the University of Wisconsin’s Trace Center and Boston’s CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media to design accessibility into the information superhighway (the Internet)
Personal Assistance National Cost Effectiveness Study
With a grant from the Department of Education, WID conducted a national cost effectiveness study on personal assistance services. In partnership with the American Bar Association, WID examined liability issues affecting consumer-directed personal assistance services.
Spring of 1988
Research of Personal Assistance Services
In the spring of 1988, WID completed an in-depth research study of personal assistance services in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Missouri.
Aging & the Indpendent Living Movement
In September 1985, WID and the Institute on Health and Aging, University of California, San Francisco brought together leaders of the aging and disability fields to create a dialogue on the concepts of aging within the Independent Living movement at the National Conference on Aging and Disability.
The World Institute on Disability was founded in 1983. It is a private non-profit corporation focusing on major policies derived from the perspective of the disability community. It was founded by Judy Heumann, Joan Leon and Ed Roberts. It functions as a research center and as a resource for information (such as training, public education and technical assistance).
More WID History can be found at the University of California, Berkeley's Bancroft Library, as part of their Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement collection. A detailed Collection Guide is available via the Online Archive of California.
If you have additional questions about the history and projects of the World Institute on Disability, we are happy to help! Please contact us at email@example.com