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Distance Learning

Community of Practice Racial Equity Learning Community: Resources for Advancing Racial Equity

Why is there a focus on racial equity in intellectual and developmental disabilities?


In 2021-22, the last year of funding, the CoP expanded to include a Racial Equity Learning Community. The Racial Equity Learning Community was developed to respond to the interests and needs of the CoP state teams that asked for a focus on racial equity in intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Multiple resources were developed to support the CoP teams and other IDD organizations to use cultural and linguistic competence as key approaches to advance racial equity within systems of supports and services in states, territories, and tribal nations.



The resources are designed to increase information sharing, knowledge, and advance racial equity in the intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) space.

The three resources include: (1) a series of video narratives featuring the voices of persons with lived experience of IDD and family members on the meaning of equity, racial equity, and racial equity in the IDD space; (2) definitions of disability justice and intersectionality from the literature and from the perspectives of persons with lived experience of IDD; and (3) a selected set of resources focused on racial equity and vetting criteria to determine the extent to which extant resources can be applied in the IDD space.


Video Series

The video series consist of a set of 18 multilingual resources that offer the insights of persons with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities and their families on equity, racial equity, and racial equity in the IDD space.

Perspectives from Persons with Lived Experience of intellectual, developmental or other disabilities

Anna Attlaa
Anna Attla, AK
Max Barrows
Max Barrows, VT
Jeiri Flores
Jeiri Flores, NY
Emmanuel Jenkins
Emmanuel Jenkins, DE
Ikaika Kaahanui
Ikaika Kaahanui, HI
Hector Manuel Ramirez
Hector Manuel Ramirez, CA
Mathew McCollough
Mathew McCollough, DC
Paola Sofia Ramírez Cruz
Paola Sofia Ramírez Cruz, PR
Lydia X. Z. Brown
Lydia X. Z. Brown, MD


Perspectives from Family Members

Azeb Adere
Azeb Adere, MD
Jennie De La Mota Velez
Jennie De La Mota Velez, PR
Anab Gulaid
Anab Gulaid, MN
Coral Jimenez
Coral Jimenez, PR
Kenya Martinez
Kenya Martinez, CA
Brenda Muñoz
Brenda Liz Muñoz, PA
Lydia Ocasio-Stoutenburg
Lydia Ocasio-Stoutenburg, PA
Chioma Oruh
Chioma Oruh, DC
Grace Pushparany Williams
Grace Pushparany Williams, MD


Definitions of Disability Justice and Intersectionality

Perspectives of Persons with Lived Experience of Disability

Andy Arias
Andy Arias
Lydia X. Z. Brown
Lydia X. Z. Brown
Luticha Andre Doucette
Luticha Andre Doucette
Leroy Moore
Leroy Moore


Words of Wisdom: Reflections on Racial Equity

Chioma Oruh

“Racial equity means having publicly endorsed safe spaces and processes where people with I/DD are honored for having intersectional cultural identities that deserve social protections to ensure as much equal access to activities and places that promote self-determined, high-quality lives. This means normalizing providing accommodations in places of learning, employment, religious celebrations, and entertainment in ways that preserve the human dignity of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

“Racial equity means upholding the principles of radical inclusion and having social and cultural places of memory that are accessible for all Americans to honor the history and great achievements that center the experiences of the champions of the Disability Rights Movement so that future generations of people with disabilities can see themselves as honorable citizens worthy of success and accolades in this great democratic project we are all a part of.”

“Racial equity means honoring the sacrifices made by disability justice champions through a continuous commitment to implementing the core values of those of the Civil Rights era, those that lead efforts to enact section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the catalog of case laws and local laws in the quest for equal representation and due process protections under the law for all persons with disabilities.”

“As a parent and caregiver of my children with I/DD, racial equity means having significant social investments that honor the diversity of disability cultural experiences by uplifting neurodiversity as a social aspiration to be achieved in tangible ways that support the reversal of historic disparities and negative social outcomes of children and adults with I/DD and their families as we navigate the systems of care.”

Emmanuel M.D. Jenkins

"Neither the color of my skin nor my disability should dictate the quality of service that I receive."

"There is no policy or procedure that will impact the fight against racial equity; that starts with the hearts and the minds of every individual on this planet."

Jeiri Flores“Humanity will never be its best self without racial equity. Racial equity is required to make fruitful steps forward to a better tomorrow.”

“Acknowledging the need for racial equity as an organization is the first step in an advancing towards a unified community where everyone has the opportunity to grow, learn, and advance in their personal and professional life.””

“Racial equity work is messy and complicated, but when it’s done right it has the potential to spark the change needed to create a community where folks have the platform to chase after their desires.”