Empowering Creators with Disabilities

Inclusion for all abilities has come a long way, but we’re not done yet.

ADA30, Americans with Disabilities Act, Celebrate the ADA! July 26, 2020

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted 30 years ago to ensure people with disabilities can participate fully in society. Access to employment, education, government and private services has improved dramatically since the ADA was signed, but there’s still work to do.

Adobe’s mission has always been to create products that empower people to change the world. In order to be successful, we need to operate in a society where everyone is empowered to create their future and tell their stories. We are committed to harnessing the best of Adobe — our people, platform, creativity and innovation — to make lasting change inside and outside of our company.

In January, we joined the Valuable 500, a leadership community committed to unlocking the potential of the 1.3 billion people globally with disabilities. We’re still striving to create a more inclusive world, and today we are reaffirming our commitment to accessibility through several initiatives.

Crip Camp x Adobe Fellowship

In honor of Ki’Tay Davidson, a dedicated advocate of marginalized groups and co-creator of #DisabilitySolidarity praxis, we are partnering with Crip Camp’s Impact Campaign to establish the Crip Camp x Adobe Fellowship program empowering creatives and community organizers with disabilities to share their stories. Selected fellows will each receive a $5,000 grant to complete a passion project over a seven-month period and mentorship from esteemed creatives to help take their work to the next level, in addition to complimentary access to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Easterseals Film Challenge

We are proud to be the Creativity Partner for the 2020 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, which gives filmmakers — with and without disabilities — the opportunity to tell unique and personal stories that showcase disability in its many forms. The medium of film is a compelling way to spread awareness of the unique challenges faced by those with visible and invisible disabilities, and we look forward to presenting finalists in the Best Film category. All finalists will be announced the week of August 3rd, with a digital awards ceremony to follow.

Accelerating accessibility and innovation for the limb difference community

From empowering kids to express themselves through personalized designs for their own bionic limbs to emerging wheelchair innovation for patients with ALS and MS, Limbitless Solutions demonstrates how technology and creativity can make a profound, positive impact in people’s lives and create a more inclusive future. With Adobe Creative Cloud, Limbitless’ staff and student interns design personalized bionic arms for children with limb differences, create immersive games that enable faster adoption of the bionic limb, and tell more impactful, visual stories to raise funds for their programs.

To support their ongoing efforts, Adobe is pleased to make a $100,000 grant to Limbitless, which will help with lab expansion efforts to accelerate FDA approval. The approval will enable insurance coverage — and in turn, wider access — to these unique bionic limbs, which is critical particularly as kids require bionic arm replacements every few years as they grow.

Enhancing accessibility at Adobe and within our products

It starts from within. When people feel appreciated and included, they can be more creative, innovative and successful. We’re honored to be recognized by Disability: IN’s Disability Equality Index among the companies that scored 100 for disability inclusion in the workplace. The index measures enterprise-wide access, employment practices, community engagement, and supplier diversity. There’s more to be done, but this fuels our long-standing commitment to accessibility, including our inclusive design approach to our products.

Over the last 8 years, Adobe’s accessibility training program, Blue Belt, has trained our engineers and product testers to better understand software accessibility. This internal program inspired the Adobe Inclusive Design Workshop, which we’ve made publicly available. We’ve also open sourced React Spectrum, a collection of libraries and tools — including React Aria — all to help designers build more adaptive, accessible and cohesive user experiences.

Both our Blue Belt program and React Spectrum simplify building accessibility into our products. In May, we made an update to Adobe Color to help accommodate those with colorblindness and other visual color deficiencies. This is one of many updates, reflective of our work dating back to 1999 with accessibility support in Acrobat 4.0.

Whether it’s through our products and services or how we recruit and support employees, we take a holistic approach to making this world more accessible. Everyone has a story to tell, and through collaborative efforts in the public and private sectors, we look forward to enabling and amplifying those of all abilities to share theirs.

At Adobe, we believe that everyone deserves respect and equal treatment, and we also stand with the Black community against hate, intolerance and racism. We will continue to support, elevate, and amplify diverse voices through our community of employees, creatives, customers and partners. We believe Adobe has a responsibility to drive change and ensure that every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We must stand up and speak out against racial inequality and injustice. Read more about the actions we’re taking to make lasting change inside and outside of our company.

We also know many people are still impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis and our thoughts are with you. The entire Adobe team wants to thank you, our customers, and all creators around the world for the work you do to keep us inspired during this difficult time.