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Hillary Steen, Nonprofit Management Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Summer 2013

Close-up headshot of Hillary Steen smiling

Hillary Steen

Hillary Steen was a Nonprofit Management Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program in the summer of 2013. After graduating from college, she returned to RespectAbility in January 2015 as our Development and Inclusion Associate.

Her first professional work in the disability space was in high school when she volunteered at the Daisy Recreation Program as a camp counselor for children with disabilities. With that experience and others – like her synagogue’s inclusion initiative for people with disabilities – Steen became committed to supporting, including, and welcoming people with disabilities in all areas of life.

As the development and inclusion associate, Steen mainly worked on fundraising especially grant writing, research, reporting and donor database management. She also assisted with our Jewish inclusion work and supervised the development and Jewish inclusion Apprentices.

Steen previously interned at Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and worked at Eisner Camp. An avid volunteer, she spent time with Elijah’s Promise, Hebrew Union College Soup Kitchen and NYU La Pietra Dialogues. Steen held various leadership positions at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU, Temple Beth Torah Senior Youth Group and NFTY-GER. She graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with Honors in 2014.


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 [email protected] for more information.



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 [email protected]

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