IncludeAbility is a grassroots nonprofit organization that started in Ohio, in 2021. IncludeAbility's mission is to create an accessible world where individuals with physical disabilities are empowered and included in all aspects of life. We are dedicated to building stronger communities by developing programs that will promote inclusion and break down barriers to accessibility.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are 61 million adults in the United States living with a disability. This group makes up the largest minority group in the world. We live in a world that was not designed for individuals with physical disabilities. Our communities have many barriers in place, it is our goal to break down these barriers.
IncludeAbility's vision is to become a leader for innovative change by ensuring that individuals with physical disabilities have access to equal opportunities in the following areas:
26% of Adults in the United States have some type of a disability.
1 in 3 individuals with a disability do not have a healthcare provider.
Less than 1% of the housing in the United States is wheelchair accessible.
In 2008, IncludeAbility's founder and CEO Julie Hartzler, had a daughter that was born with Spina Bifida. Prior to Julie's 20 week Ultra Sound, she was not familiar with Spina Bifida or the many barriers individuals with physical disabilities face. At the time, Julie had a marketing career at Miami University with a degree in Business Administration. After spending a month with her daughter in the NICU, Julie's passion for working in the Healthcare Industry began. She decided to change her career path and go back to school to become a Registered Nurse. She wanted the opportunity to give back and serve others the way the medical team at Pittsburgh Children's Hospital had done for her daughter.
Over the next 10 years, Julie worked in the healthcare field as both a nurse and an administrator. Her personal and professional experiences led to her passion to advocate for individuals with physical disabilities. Her passion continued to grow as she finished her MBA in Healthcare Administration and recognized the need for cultural change.
In 2021, Julie started IncludeAbility to help communities become more accessible and inclusive.
"Our programs are designed to educate, advocate and create a cultural change that empowers individuals with physical disabilities so that they can have the greatest impact within our communities. As humans, we are designed to live in community with one another. Unfortunately, our communities are not designed for inclusion or accessibility, it is my goal to change that." - Julie Hartzler