A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

2024 Funders Institute


Disability Justice Guidance for the 2024 Funders Institute

This page is intended for anyone attending Funders Together’s events, with emphasis on considerations for anyone speaking to the whole group, in pursuit of our commitment to disability justice. Following guidance from disability justice leaders, it reflects our hope that everyone can access and participate fully in the Funders Forum.   

  • Assume people with disabilities are in the room even if no one “appears” to be.  
  • Do not assume people can see or read the slides. For example, avoid expressions like “as you can see on the slide.” If you are drawing people's attention to what is on a slide, briefly describe what is on the screen and/or what you want people to notice. 
  • Use the microphone whenever addressing the whole room – don’t assume your voice is loud enough.  
  • Minimize table talk when someone is speaking on mic, which aids the effectiveness of assisted listening devices and generally makes it easier to hear the speaker. 
  • Define technical terms and spell out acronyms. Use plain language whenever possible. Make no assumptions that people understand jargon. Be mindful not to speak too quickly.  
  • Refrain from harmful expressions that characterize disabilities as an error, such as “wheelchair-bound” or “suffers from” (alternatives include wheelchair user, for example).  
  • Keep chairs clear from tables designated for wheelchair use. Keep passageways clear.  
  • Ask for consent before touching anyone. For example, ask “may I give you a hug?”  

Learn More

If you have any questions or feedback about the above or require any specific accommodations, please contact Michael Durham.

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We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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