In the 80’s and 90’s the Administration on Developmental Disabilities had several national conferences on Race and Disability. As a result of these conferences several grass roots Black organizations were formed. None of which exist today. There were two problems, the first the expectation was that the Administration would make real financial commitments to them and when that did not happen the organizations did not have enough funding to sustain themselves. However, it was these organizations that paved the way for organizations like NBDC.
NBDC began in 2000 out of a spin off from the New Jersey Black Disability Coalition. The New Jersey Coalition worked for 10 years before going national.
The work of NBDC includes Black disabled people, their families, and Black disabled organizations. NBDC is inclusive of all disability groups. For many Black families, the introduction to disability is a new conversation.
NBDC work includes public policy issues, referral and assistance and mentoring individuals and families.
Some examples include:
- Presentations on Prison Reform for rights and services for Black disabled inmates
- Network with Incarcerated Youth Programs
- Hearing with NJ Dept of Corrections on services for inmates with non-apparent disabilities
- Accessible Format Campaign for Black Literature
- Partnered with Seeking Ways Out Team on de-institutionalization of Developmental Centers
- Drafted, introduced, and successfully passed into a law a bill that requires State of NJ to do an annual assessment of needs and services of Black disabled people and their families
- Information & Referral Services
- Provide part time employment and references for Black disabled people & family members
- Acted as Fiscal Fiduciary on an ADA lawsuit for Black disabled individuals
- Mentor Family Members
- International Internships for Black disabled youth
- Vision Awards acknowledged Black disabled and non-disabled people who contributed to improving the lives of Black disabled people
- Developed and Produced an Access Toolkit for Black Faith and Non-Profit Organizations
- Network of Black Disabled Organizations
- Provided financial support for Black Disabled and Organizations
- Network with non-disabled Black Organizations
- Provide resources to non-Black disabled projects that focus on Black disabled population
- Established Black Disability Studies Draft Format/Instructions
- Presentations for universities, nonprofits and faith based and organizations. For many nonprofits and faith-based organizations there is no cost for presentations or travel expenses
- Financially supported Black disabled individuals to attend conferences