What is DisBeat?


Politics, the economy, sexuality, healthcare, natural disasters, race relations - every day there are breaking news and media images on these and other issues. Such stories and images have a powerful impact on all of us, but they seldom discuss or articulate the experiences and perspectives of people with disabilities.

That’s why we created DisBeat

DisBeat is a national communications initiative. Our purpose is to:

  1. Convene issue leaders, subject-matter experts, and other stakeholders to form responses.
  2. Develop and help implement communication strategies.
  3. Serve as a trusted source for reporters, journalists, writers, and screenwriters.
  4. Expand, frame, and reframe the way disability is discussed.
  5. Provide, curate, and create fact sheets, talking points, resources, white papers, etc.

DisBeat maintains content on more than twenty issues, each including a database of subject-matter experts, plus facts and editorials on a variety of critical issues facing 56.7 million Americans with Disabilities and their families.

DisBeat is a project of The ADA Legacy Project. Initial Partners include ADAPT of Montana, Center for Disability Rights, NY, Disability Rights Center, OR, Disability Visibility Project, CA, EIN SOF Communications, Nothing Without Us Media, and the Shepherd Center.


Case Studies

So far, DisBeat's accomplishments include:

  • Me Before You - Partnered with Not Dead Yet to amplify its campaign against the movie Me Before You, which led to national and international protests against the movie, forcing Warner Brothers to pull the movie from thousands of screen.
  • State of the Union - In collaboration with Ted Jackson, Lawrence Carter-Long, and others, publicized #SayTheWord messaging about the importance of naming disability in public policy.
  • DGOTV - Worked with REV UP! and other partners to encourage #DisabilityVote and #CripTheVote.
  • Disability Narrative Imperative - Along with SAGAFTRA and others, followed the #OscarsSoWhite campaign with discussions about the underrepresentation of disabled people in Hollywood, leading to a commitment from USC to revise its report on diversity in entertainment.
  • AbilityOne - Joined with NDLA to bring attention to the federal investigation of AbilityOne/SourceAmerica, and the release of Wikileaks tapes confirming the abuse of federal funding for employment programs for people with disabilities.