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Disability EmpowHer Network Receives $200,000 from Ford Foundation

Two young girls holding marshmellows that say "Disabled Women Make History" while smiling at the camera. Text: Big News! Disability EmpowHer Network Recieves $200,000 from Ford Foundation

April 18, 2022 - Disability EmpowHer Network was recently awarded a $200,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to support its work of empowering disabled girls and women over the next two years. 

Disability EmpowHer Network is a national organization led by and for girls and women with disabilities. After launching in November of 2020, Disability EmpowHer Network has grown to offer four national programs to girls and women with disabilities including a pen-pal program that introduces girls and women to successful disabled women role models, a yearlong leadership program for transition-age girls with disabilities, a blogging program to help disabled girls and women hone their writing skills, and a public speaking and career coaching program for women with disabilities.

The $200,000 grant will be used to support the Disability EmpowHer Network’s mission of  connecting, motivating, and guiding disabled girls and women to grow, learn, and develop to their highest potential and have the confidence to lead.

“Receiving the Ford Foundation grant is overwhelming, humbling, and exciting. I can’t even begin to express how big of an impact this is going to make,” said Stephanie Woodward, Executive Director of Disability EmpowHer Network. “The Ford Foundation grant will allow us to grow our programs, and in turn, help more disabled girls and women grow to their fullest potential.”


"These important initiatives led by the Disability EmpowHer Network are here to encourage and support the next generation of women leaders at the critical nexus of gender and disability justice," said Ford Foundation Program Officer for U.S. Disability Rights Rebecca Cokley. "We at the Ford Foundation are proud to support these efforts, and we know that with the wind at their backs, there is no limit to what these bright young leaders can achieve."

Despite launching during the pandemic, in their first year, Disability EmpowHer Network ran three programs, helped eleven girls & women with disabilities land new jobs, welcomed 18 girls & women with disabilities to their in-person EmpowHer Camp leadership program, matched more than 70 girls and women with role models, and impacted more than 200 girls and women with disabilities. Disability EmpowHer Network credits its success to its person-centered and disabled-women-led approach. Everything they do is led by and for women and girls with disabilities and their programs have been successful because they center the women and girls that they serve. 

“At Disability EmpowHer Network, we know that when disabled girls lead, we all succeed,” said Woodward, “and the Ford Foundation grant will help to propel so many girls and women with disabilities forward!”


Contact: Stephanie Woodward at

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