At the accidental ALLY, we believe in a digital world that is accessible to EVERYONE, regardless of their abilities.
- We want to stimulate and harness the creative capacities of people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities so that they can actively contribute to digital innovation.
- We want to help tech employers to create engaging, enriching and inclusive work experiences for people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities thus enabling teach companies to harness the large, untapped, underutilized and unrepresented disabled talent pool.
- We want to help transform the tech workforce to include people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities.
Food, Flowers and Trash
We first heard this expression when a mom described the limited opportunities available to her son who has Down syndrome. The jobs available to people like him are the jobs in a grocery store, on a farm or in a restaurant. The training opportunities are limited. Many young men and women with cognitive and intellectual disabilities are extremely independent, tech savvy and make it through high school but once they are out, the opportunities are limited. According to an Accenture study, we know that when it comes to employment of people with disabilities, “in the US, 31% are employed, compared to 75% of their peers. The low representation in the workforce is not for lack of desire, but of opportunity.” We want to help connect people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities to job opportunities where they can realize their full potential.
Harnessing the ability in the Disability
We want to enable the shift from disability to “discovering-ability”. Many young men and women with cognitive and intellectual disabilities are extremely independent, tech savvy and make it through high school. They make up a large untapped talent pool that is eager to learn and contribute! Read our manifesto to learn more about us, our work and our approach.
Why are there so few people with disabilities in the workforce?
The exploration of this question is what led to The Accidental Ally 2021 Internship. We hired young men and women ages 18–25 years with Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Autism. We hired them because we wanted to know if they are willing to learn new skills, and are eager to work. What we learned from this experience was that these young men and women are the most underrated, undervalued, and underestimated group of people in our world today. They have tremendous potential to contribute to the world in meaningful ways.
Can you help me learn new skills and find a job in tech?
We have developed a real-world work environment where learning takes place using hands on learning and project based learning. Learning plans are customized to every individual based on their inherent abilities. We collaborate with employers on new areas of work such as Demand Generation, Marketing Operations, Security and Web Accessibility testing, Game Accessibility, Video and Podcast editing to name a few.
Are employers willing to invest in potential?
Does the constitution protect the right to work for persons with disabilities?
Only 18% of the countries in the world constitutionally protect the right to work for persons with disabilities. What if your right to work was taken from you? What would you do?