21NTC Session
Digital Inclusion

Challenge: Philanthropists, End Tech Exclusion for People with Disabilities


Nowhere is the need for inclusive, accessible design more consistently ignored than in the nonprofit sector and the philanthropies that support us. Looking at two major areas of interest – online fundraising platforms and informational webinars – we find that the philanthropic community routinely and consistently ignores accessibility needs of people with disabilities.

Nonprofit, mission-driven organizations primarily rely for funding on a network of donors, foundations, and government grantmaking institutions dedicated to public good. These philanthropic organizations were quick to respond to the COVID crisis, giving emergency grants and an array of webinars with guidance and advice to help nonprofits stay afloat in these perilous times. These are valuable resources – unless you have a disability. This session explains barriers to participation by disabled NPO staff and provides practical strategies and free resources to remove them. We hope to help the philanthropic community reach goals of true inclusion.

Session Type

30 minute session

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand current barriers to inclusion of NPO staff with disabilities in funding and educational opportunities.
  • Make a commitment to address the barriers.
  • Implement a clear, cost-effective plan to improve access for these stakeholders.

Target Audience

Digital asset producers (webinars, grant submission platforms, online learning providers) that support nonprofits and need to understand accessible outreach




Sharron Rush

Executive Director


Sharron Rush is the award winning co-founder and Executive Director of Knowbility, a nonprofit advocacy, consulting, and training company based in Austin Texas. Knowbiltiy is a global leader in raising awareness and skills around the issue of access to technology for people with disabilities. Since 1998, Sharron’s work at Knowbility includes policy review, performance analysis, technical consultation, and training development for private and public companies, government agencies, and schools. Her technical expertise, understanding of the barriers faced by people with disabilities, and strong communication and training skills have contributed to her leadership position in the field. She serves in an advisory role in several global accessibility initiatives, including as co-chair of the Accessibility Education and Outreach Working Group at the W3C, where she helps develop global accessibility standards for their Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Her book Maximum Accessibility was published in 2002.



March 25, 2021


12:15pm – 12:45pm