Our Mission

When the National Organization on Disability was founded in 1982, it was the first organization in the United States to represent every person with a disability, regardless of particular needs or circumstances. To have a disability is to belong to a large extended community — one out of every four Americans fits the description — that includes immense diversity, but also common threads of shared experience. Our mission has always been to break down the barriers that fence people off from the wider community. Today, we focus the whole of our energy on eliminating the most wasteful and isolating of all those barriers: the artificial gulf that keeps tens of millions of people out of the productive workforce. 

We envision a world where all people with disabilities enjoy full opportunity for employment, enterprise and earnings, and employers know how to make the most of our talents.

Our Strategy: We help employers put ability to work

NOD is the national leader in helping businesses tap the disability labor force. We don’t just analyze, advise, and assess; we make the journey with companies. Our strength derives from our mission and history, from the extent and quality of the services we offer employers, from our personal experiences of disability and how it plays out in the community and the workforce, and from the leadership we mobilize to ensure that people with disabilities can achieve the dignity, fulfillment, and financial independence that comes from productive employment.

We are a partner to business, education, service providers, government, philanthropy, and, most of all, to the tens of millions of Americans with disabilities eager to work and ready to take a full and equal role in our national progress.

For us, and for the donors and foundations who generously support us, the labor market is not just an exchange place for employers and employees. It is the gateway to individual accomplishment and independence. We have focused our entire mission on achieving equity in the workforce, because that is where ability contributes to national prosperity, to business success, and, most importantly, to personal satisfaction and growth.

For NOD, every unused talent is a promise unkept, a hope defeated—because in the labor market, as in every aspect of life…it’s ability that counts!