Fitness & Beyond: The Kakana Newsletter

Welcome to Kakana’s newsletter. A curation of important disability, accessibility, fitness, and anything else we think is relevant stories people are talking about. We will give our take, guests will give theirs, and we will add in some fun and interesting tidbits as well.

If you don’t find this valuable, you can permanently unsubscribe at the bottom of this email. If you like it, tell your friends to subscribe here.

Changing Fitness Forever

The idea of Kakana was started in 2019, pre-pandemic. Peloton wasn’t public yet, and there weren’t 15 rival companies vying for the streaming fitness space. Matt, Kakana’s founder, was asking the question, “Why isn’t there an accessible first company that streams fitness?”  The idea was so foreign almost 3 years ago now that people laughed at the notion.

Well… not anymore. Now, there are a handful of companies doing great work, that are accessible first. Not accessible after the fact, not accessible some of the time, but accessible all of the time. It’s a niche of the fitness industry that people better watch out for. 

Don’t Compromise: The communities built around adapted fitness, like Kakana, serve to provide every bit of fitness one needs to accomplish their goals. But they do more than that, they provide an environment that understands and relates to the individual. There is fitness out there for everyone now, don’t settle for a gym or platform that only gives you partially what you want.  Check out Kakana’s 7-day free trial to test out what we mean.

Airbnb Ups Their Accessibility

In 2017 a Rutgers study came out detailing that Airbnb hosts were more likely to reject travelers with disabilities. Since then, Airbnb, to their credit has started to incrementally improve. They bought Accomable, a startup that focused on travel listings that were disabled-friendly and began to evolve their thinking. 

Another step in the right direction dropped this week when Airbnb announced updates to make it easier for guests with disabilities to travel.

We will give you the takeaways straight from their press release:

  • Under our new accessibility review process, Hosts simply submit photos of the accessibility features in their home, which are then manually reviewed by a specialized team of Airbnb agents.
  • We’re also making it easier to find these stays with updates to 13 search filters, including step-free bedroom access and accessible parking spot.

We would love to hear how these updates are working. Drop us a note if with your experience and we will add it in a future newsletter.

Money Needs to be on the Table

Perks are only perks if they can be accessed…For a company to tout itself as disability-friendly or accessible they need to put their money where their mouth is, and their attitudes on the same level as every other employee. Provide accessible first perks and benefits, create an accessible work environment, and here’s a thought, care. Giving a gym membership that has zero accessible options is not trying. Having negative attitudes toward someone because they have a disability is not trying.

What can you get for around $3.34?

  • Tall Skinny Vanilla Latte ($3.54)
  • A gallon of milk ($3.59)
  • A gallon of gas ($3.41)
  • 4 Piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal ($3.29)

Why is $3.34 important? It’s the subminimum wage an employee with a disability could be paid. If a four-piece happy meal is equal to an hour of work by an American citizen then one of two things is true. We are highly underrating the McDonald’s chicken nugget, the second and most likely is we are highly undervaluing the employee with a disability. How do we change what the value of an employee with a disability represents?

Wield economic power. There is one way to immediately change a companies behavior. Buy their product or buy their competitor’s product. Here’s what power looks like:

  • 53% of the global consumer marketplace touches the individuals with disabilities community, which can represent a highly attractive demographic.
  • 30%
 of the nation’s 69.6 million families have at least one member with a disability.
  • $175+ billion dollars in discretionary income for working-age people with disabilities, which is more than four times the spending power of tweens (8-14 year-olds), a demographic sought after by businesses.
  • $544 billion dollars is an approximate total of disposable income in the disability community in the United States.
  • 2.4 billion consumers worldwide factoring in family and friends. With family and friends included, and the feeling of intense loyalty around individuals with disabilities, the disposable income globally skyrockets to $6.9T.

Let’s paint a picture. Imagine two companies, let’s say Walmart and Amazon. One hires, pays, and creates a work environment that is equal in all facets. The other takes individuals with disabilities for granted.

Take one of those stats above…If 30% of families that have a family member with a disability spent their money at, let’s say Amazon, that gave equal standing to their employees with disabilities, instead of, in this scenario Walmart, how would those companies react? Amazon realized that if they embrace the disability world then more of that $6.9 trillion dollar number would be in their pocket rather than Walmart. Would Walmart change its ways?

Well…we would if the third-largest spending block in the world favored our competitor.

*This is a made-up scenario, we do not have figures on either of these companies. Amazon won the coin toss.

Something Fun or Interesting

Hopefully, you didn’t take your child’s lovie. One-third of adults still sleep with a comfort object. A study conducted by Sleepopolis and OnePoll reported that 34 percent of adults still sleep with a stuffed animal, blanket, or other sentimental objects.

Stat of the Month

61 million adults in the United States live with a disability. 26 percent (one in 4) of adults in the United States have some type of disability. 

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