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Summer 2017 Fellows standing or seated in wheelchairs, smiling and posing for the camera

Adam Srayi, Policy Apprentice

Nation Leadership Program, Fall 2017

RespectAbility Fellow Adam Srayi standing in front of the RespectAbility logo smiling

Adam Srayi

Adam Srayi was a Public Policy and Employment Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. He researched the unemployment rate for people with disabilities in Long Beach, California, with a focus on the Latino community. With RespectAbility, he worked to find a model to increase the employment rate and opportunities for people with disabilities in Long Beach and the greater California area.

Before working with RespectAbility, Srayi worked with the Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz where he researched and compiled the data for a map of the City of Newburgh. The map highlighted all locations in the area that provided services to those with low or no income. Srayi is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz, with a Bachelor’s degree in political science, and minors in creative writing and women’s gender and sexuality studies. He enjoys trying to find creative solutions to political problems, particularly regarding the most vulnerable and marginalized groups. Srayi hopes to hold public office in the future.

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RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Learn more about the National Leadership Program and apply for the next cohort! Contact BenS@RespectAbility.org for more information.

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Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the VP, Communications and Entertainment & News Media, of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so all people with disabilities can fully participate in every aspect of community. As an individual with an acquired nonvisible disability – Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy – she works at the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. She regularly conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible for entertainment executives throughout the industry. Appelbaum partners with studios, production companies and writers’ rooms to create equitable and accessible opportunities to increase the number of people with lived disability experience throughout the overall story-telling process. These initiatives increase diverse and authentic representation of disabled people on screen, leading to systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities. She has consulted on more than 100 TV episodes and films with A&E, Bunim-Murray Productions, NBCUniversal, Netflix, ViacomCBS, and The Walt Disney Company, among others. She represents RespectAbility on the CAA Full Story Initiative Advisory Council, Disney+ Content Advisory Council, MTV Entertainment Group Culture Code and Sundance Institute’s Allied Organization Initiative. She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working in development, production and post-production. She is a recipient of the 2020 Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award for this Lab. To reach her, email LaurenA@RespectAbility.org.

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