An Open Book Conversation with Emily Ladau and Risa Jaz Rifkind

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Raise funds for CCAC and enjoy a virtual fireside conversation with activists Emily Ladau and Risa Jaz Rifkind. They’ll discuss Emily’s new book, Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally, and dive into rich conversation around access, identity, intersectionality and more. An audience Q & A portion will follow.

To better frame the featured conversation, we encourage you to read Demystifying Disability by Emily Ladau in advance of the event. CCAC is committed to free programming and resources throughout the year. We need your help to continue this important work. Individual tickets are available for $20.

Featured Guests

Emily Ladau is a passionate disability rights activist, writer, storyteller, and digital communications consultant. She serves as the Editor in Chief of the Rooted in Rights Blog, a platform dedicated to amplifying authentic narratives on the disability experience through an intersectional lens. Her writing has been published in outlets including The New York Times, SELF, Salon, Vice, and HuffPost and her first book, Demystifying Disability, is being published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in fall 2021.

Risa Jaz Rifkind is passionate about inclusion and the arts and serves as the Treasurer for CCAC. In her full time role, she  is the Director of Civic Engagement and Marketing for Disability Lead. In 2020, she also participated on the Disability Inclusion Fund’s grant making committee. Additionally, she supports organizations develop, implement, and institutionalize disability inclusion through workshops, training, and customized approaches as an independent consultant. Risa received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.


Request A Free Book or Free Admission

A limited number of free tickets and copies of Demystifying Disability are available for attendees who are unable to purchase them due to financial circumstances.

If you would like to attend and need a complimentary ticket and/or book, please  email your request to with the subject line Fundraiser Financial Access Request.

Zoom Meeting Notes

Registered participants will receive a Zoom Meeting Link via email from this email account the day prior to the event. Please ensure that is an approved sender to your email account, or be sure to check your Spam/Junk Mail filter for the email.


Real-Time Captioning and ASL interpretation will be provided. Please complete the accommodation request field found in the event registration path with what service(s) you will want to access, or for any additional requests. You may also reach us at 708-574-5190 to request services. Thank you!

CCAC is a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, PERT Foundation, 21st Century Fox Social Impact, The Michael and Mona Heath Fund, and individual donors like you. In addition, this program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.