chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
July 02, 2024

#BeCounted campaign zeros in on lawyers with disabilities

The American Bar Association has launched an initiative during Disability Pride Month in July to count lawyers with disabilities across the country.

The #BeCounted campaign, spearheaded by the ABA Commission on Disability Rights, encourages lawyers with disabilities to add themselves to a U.S. map to express their disability pride. According to the 2021 ABA Model Diversity Survey, lawyers with a disability are generally underreported and/or underrepresented at every level within law firms. Also, according to a 2023 report from the National Association of Law Placement, only 1.4% of law firm lawyers surveyed self-identified as having a disability.

Lawyers with disabilities are encouraged to participate in the ongoing #BeCounted campaign and complete a short digital form, which requests your city, state and disability. No personally identifiable information is needed.

The Commission on Disability Rights has also updated its 21-Day Disability Equity Habit-Building Challenge in honor of Disability Pride Month. The challenge invites participants to engage in 21 consecutive daily assignments, usually 20 minutes, followed by discussion questions. The assignments — which cover topics ranging from disability identity and culture to disability justice and etiquette — include readings, listening to podcasts and watching videos.

The goal of the activities is to help participants become more aware and engaged in the quest for disability equity, and specifically to learn more about the members of the disability community as well as the barriers, biases, stereotypes and discrimination they encounter in everyday life.

Disability Pride started as a day of celebration in 1990 when the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. That same year, Boston held the first Disability Pride Day. The first official observance occurred in July 2015, which marked the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Since then, cities across the country have celebrated Disability Pride Month with parades and other festivities.