• Impact Austin

Exploring Equity in the Disability World

Impact Austin's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging (DEIB) Committee launches a new webinar series on equity, starting April 16. The first of the three-part series explores equity in the disability world. Our July 16 webinar will study inclusivity with regard to ageism, and the October 15 session will consider equity around gender identity and sexual orientation.


Over one billion people worldwide live with some form of disability. In Texas, 1 in every 4 adults is a person living with a disability. Ableness directly or indirectly impacts all of us. Awareness is key to understanding and creating an inclusive community.


In this informative panel discussion, Central Texas nonprofit leaders share their vision for a more equitable world for people living with disabilities and help us better understand the most impactful ways to provide support. Key concepts from our panelists will include:

  • What equity means to the ableness community.

  • Their biggest challenges and how the pandemic has affected their work.

  • Local organizations creating the greatest impact in service and policy reform.

  • How the Impact Austin community can practice effective allyship.


REGISTER NOW: Exploring Equity in the Disability World | FRI, APR 16 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Impact Austin member Carrie Maher will introduce the session and our panelists.


Moderator: Drew Wilborn, Executive Pastor, Antioch Fellowship M.B.C.; Board Member, Disability Rights Texas

Drew Wilborn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of North Texas and a Master’s Degree in Christian Education from Dallas Baptist University. As Executive Pastor of Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, he serves a 6,000 person congregation. Drew is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and is actively involved with committees of the Prosper Independent School District. His volunteer positions serve individuals with criminal offenses and those with disabilities. Drew is a board member for the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas, coach for the Miracle League of Frisco, and board member of Disability Rights Texas, the state’s protection and advocacy group for individuals with disabilities, including the advancement of mental health concerns.


Chelsea Elliott, Founder & Executive Director, half Helen

After failing a vision screening at her daycare, Chelsea found out she was permanently blind in her left eye. Two years later, a failed hearing screening at her elementary school revealed that Chelsea was deaf in her right ear. In fourth grade, Chelsea learned about Helen Keller and surmised “I’m half-blind and half-deaf; I’m Half Helen”—a name that would come to characterize her life’s work. As the Founder and Executive Director of half Helen Foundation, Chelsea works to improve underprivileged children's vision by closing the gap in access to vision care. In seven years of operation, Chelsea passed statewide vision screening legislation; fundraised and developed hH’s first mobile app, swift Screen; and is currently overseeing the construction of their first mobile vision clinic – optical Prime by half Helen.


Celia Hughes, Executive Director, Art Spark Texas

Celia Hughes holds a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, UT Austin, and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Pathology from the SUNY College at Plattsburgh. As the Executive Artistic Director of Art Spark Texas (formerly VSA Texas) she has developed diverse arts programs that showcase the work of multi-discipline professional and emerging artists with disabilities. Celia has over 35 years of experience working in the arts and education field - mainly in theater, film and music - as teacher, producer, artist and administrator. She has also worked alongside people with diverse disabilities for over 25 years.


Dr. Mary Van Haneghan, CEO, The Arc of the Capital Area

A nationally recognized leader for her work on behalf of people who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families, Dr. Mary Van Haneghan has over two decades of experience working and presenting across the country. Dedicated to promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD, Mary currently serves as the CEO for The Arc of the Capital Area, one of Austin’s oldest continuously operating nonprofits providing over 1,000 children and adults with I/DD innovative programming in education, employment, independent living, educational advocacy, transitions, and dog therapy.


REGISTER NOW for this impactful session and save these dates for upcoming webinars:

July 16 - Exploring Equity: Ageism

October 15 - Exploring Equity: Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation




Recent Posts

Impact Austin, P.O. Box 28148, Austin, TX 78755  |  contact@impactaustin.org  |  Tel: 512-553-6083  |  Join our mailing list!

© 2021 Impact Austin Foundation

Impact Austin Foundation is incorporated in the state of Texas and is a nonprofit organization exempt from federal taxes under U.S. Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). Contributions are tax deductible.  EIN 56-2367666.