Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New CAP Research Highlights the Lived Experiences of Black Disabled Women and Girls
Press Release

RELEASE: New CAP Research Highlights the Lived Experiences of Black Disabled Women and Girls

Washington, D.C. — Despite the fact that an estimated 3.5 million Black women have a disability, there has been little research in the ways those three identities—Black, disabled, and woman—intersect with each other. There has also been little written about the the unique structural barriers that Black disabled women face. Today, the Center for American Progress is releasing a series that looks at these barriers and offers policy solutions in the areas of economic security, education access, and health care.

The reports are based on interviews as well as the discussions that took place in June 2021 in three roundtables of Black disabled women to discuss these issues. While the reports offer overviews of the economic, health, and educational challenges that Black disabled women face, along with a preliminary discussion of policy solutions, the authors conclude that the lack of quantitative data makes it difficult to develop policies and pass legislation that directly address the barriers faced by Black disabled women. In order to ensure that Black women and girls with disabilities are included in and benefit from policy decisions, more data and research need to center them.

“As Audre Lorde said, ‘There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.’ Adopting an intersectional approach to policymaking does not diminish single identity or oppression, but rather allows all who experience that identity to benefit,” said Mia Ives-Rublee, director of  CAP’s Disability Justice Initiative. “With these reports, we hope to continue a conversation and reinforce the need to take an intersectional approach to policymaking that benefits anyone who identifies as Black, disabled or woman—but most specifically Black disabled women themselves.”

Read the series:

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Julia Cusick at jcusick@americanprogress.org.