Ford Foundation Gives $200,000 to Disability Rights Advocates

May 14, 2024—New York, NY—In support of DRA’s unique approach to disability advocacy, the Ford Foundation has contributed $200,000 in general funding to support the organization’s high-impact legal work. This gift, along with other significant contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations, will help DRA to continue tackling the urgent, systemic, societal barriers to equal participation for people with disabilities.

DRA’s President & CEO Rebecca Williford talks about the significance of this gift: “DRA is the only organization in the country doing systemic high-impact litigation on behalf of people with disabilities at a national scale. It has traditionally been difficult to find foundations willing to invest in our critical work. Ford Foundation’s fearless focus on disability advocacy has been a game-changer for DRA and countless other organizations like ours who are creating equity for the nation’s largest minority. We’re so grateful for this generous support!”

A 30-year-old, 30-employee non-profit organization, DRA has brought hundreds of cases on behalf of people with disabilities across the country, transforming healthcare, emergency preparedness, transportation, education, employment, entertainment, voting, and so many more systems to include people with disabilities.

DRA was founded in California in 1993, opened offices in New York in 2010, and offices in Chicago in 2016. The organization represents people with all kinds of disabilities in class-action cases across the country. This gift will allow the organization to continue its precedent-setting work in cutting-edge issue areas including airline travel, reproductive rights, and affordable accessible housing in the year ahead.

“This gift means so much to DRA and our clients,” said Kate Hamilton, COO and long-time fundraiser for the organization. “We hope that other foundations will follow Ford Foundation’s example and invest in disability rights through gifts to DRA and organizations like ours. From curb cuts to accessible absentee voting to interpreters in medical settings, DRA is transforming society for the better. And donors like Ford Foundation are making that possible!”

DRA’s mission is to advance the rights, inclusion, and equity of people with disabilities through high-impact litigation, education, and advocacy. The organization’s vision is a world free from discrimination, where people with disabilities are valued members of their communities with equal access to opportunity. To learn more about DRA’s approach and impact visit


Chris Maccarone: 510-529-3453