Disabled-Owned Businesses Listing Rules
Thank you for your interest in the Disability-Owned Business Directory. Please read these rules and guidelines before adding your link.
Definition of a Disabled-Owned Business
To qualify for our directory, your business must be primarily operated by someone who lives with a disability, chronic illness, or mental health condition that has a significant impact on their life. Items or services offered by entrepreneurs with disabilities do not need to be related to disability or health, but they can be.
Businesses operated by family members of someone with a disability or chronic illness will also be considered, however, family member-run businesses must offer products or services that have a connection to disability, chronic illness, and/or mental health. The family member with a condition should support and/or participate in the business if their abilities and health allow them to do so. Stores operated by family members will be noted as such in the directory.
The Ability Toolbox reserves the right to accept or decline stores based on other criteria such as product quality, and to limit acceptance of family member-operated stores to ensure that the directory is primarily disabled-owned businesses.
Our directory operates on the honor system. If you tell us that you have a disability/chronic illness or are a family member, we will generally believe you. We also don’t care who owns the business on paper as we know many disabled entrepreneurs make a family member the legal owner to avoid losing benefits. We don’t want to ask intrusive questions or make anyone uncomfortable. However, we do reserve the right to investigate and contact you for more details if we have concerns about whether a listing is legitimate.
We are primarily looking for small businesses such as artisans, crafters, and creators to feature. If you have a large business, we will still consider your store, but we are not going to list Tesla even though Elon Musk is on the autism spectrum.
If you sell items, you must have a store or website where customers can purchase your merchandise, or sell products through a platform such as Etsy, CafePress, RedBubble, etc. We will not list social media profiles that customers DM to buy. Exceptions will be considered if all of your items are customized and made to order, such as pet portraits.
Product and Service Rules
Products or services must be affirming of disability rights and inclusion, and cannot promote pity or “inspiration porn.”
Stores that promote prejudice or bias against any minority or marginalized community will not be accepted. Stores that prominently feature the puzzle piece as a symbol for autism or promote Autism Speaks will not be accepted.
MLM stores (Color Street, Monat, Herbalife, etc.) will not be accepted. MLMs prey on the disability community and harm small business owners and are not welcome here.
Adult products specifically adapted for the disability/chronic illness community may be accepted at our discretion.
There is no fee to be listed in our directory. To sustain our disabled-owned small business, we receive a small commission on purchases made through affiliate links in our directory. If you are selling on a platform that has an affiliate program, such as Etsy, we will link to your store using an affiliate link. This will not cut into your profits as it is already built into the fees you pay when selling your items. If you sell merchandise on multiple platforms, we will link to your store on a site that has an affiliate program. If you sell on a platform that has an affiliate program, you will automatically receive a featured listing at no charge.
If you run your own website or use a service like Shopify, we highly recommend that you set up an affiliate program. Please check out our article on affiliate marketing for the disability community to learn more. Having an affiliate program will get you a free featured listing and incentivize other disability and chronic illness blogs to feature your products.
Trust and Safety
The Ability Toolbox is not responsible for the products sold on any listed website, and cannot assist if customers do not receive items they purchased. We do expect stores on this list to provide fast and reliable shipping and customer service. We will remove a business from our directory at our discretion if we believe it is fraudulent or consistently failing to fill orders.