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Born This Way Fan Guide: Free Resources You Can Use

Toolkit Includes Free Resources for Job Seekers with Disabilities and Employers Embracing Employees with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., June 4 – In coordination with this Tuesday’s episode of Born This Way, RespectAbility has released the Born This Way Fan Guide with free resources for a variety of individuals with disabilities. The guide includes free tools, contacts, information and services around:

cover art for the cover for the Born This Way Fa Guide includes photos of the cast of Born This Way

Born This Way Fan Guide: Free Resources You Can Use

Download a PDF of the guide: Born This Way Fan Guide – Free Resources You Can Use (PDF).

Download an accessible Word document of the guide: Born This Way Fan Guide – Free Resources You Can Use (DOCX).

Born This Way, which won an Emmy for being the best reality show on television, is a breakthrough show starring seven young adults with Down syndrome who are striving to gain jobs, independent living, love, fun and friendships. It shows the casts’ real-life quests to achieve employment and/or start their own companies.

Tuesday’s episode shows when several members of the cast attended a summit, entitled “Ending Stigmas & Bigotry: Expanding Employment for People with Disabilities,” co-hosted by Rep. Brad Sherman and RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities. Together, participants brainstormed new ideas and made connections to move the needle forward on the employment of people with disabilities.

Today companies including Ernst & Young (EY), AT&T, Starbucks and others have shown that employees with disabilities are loyal, successful and help them make more money. That’s because people with disabilities bring unique characteristics, talents and loyalty to the workplace that benefit employers and organizations. People with disabilities can work in hospitals, eldercare, retail, hospitality, start companies, computer programming and other fields.

The Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Wired and other publications have extolled the “disability-advantage” to companies that hire talent that includes people with disabilities.

The episode will air on Tuesday, June 6 at 10 PM ET/9c on A&E Network.

For more information visit or email



Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the Vice President, Communications, of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities, and managing editor of The RespectAbility Report, a publication at the intersection of disability and politics. Previously she was a digital researcher with the NBC News political unit. As an individual with an acquired invisible disability - Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy - she writes about the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. From entertainment professionals to presidential campaigns, journalists to philanthropists, she conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible. Behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, Appelbaum engages decision makers and creatives to improve the quality and number of authentic, diverse and inclusive presentations of people with disabilities on TV and film so audiences can see people with disabilities as vital contributors in America and around the world. She and her team have consulted on projects with Amazon, Disney/ABC Television, NBCUniversal, Netflix, and The Walt Disney Studios, among others. Appelbaum also enriches the pool of disabled talent in Hollywood by nurturing and connecting them to those who can assist with their careers, both on the creative and business sides of the industry. She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit, which was created to help entertainment professionals to be as inclusive of people with disabilities as possible, and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working behind the camera. To reach her, email

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