Skip Navigation
Skip to Footer

Theresa Soares

Theresa Soares, Media Business Development Associate

Theresa Soares headshot

Theresa Soares, Media Business Development Associate

Theresa Soares is a Media Business Development Associate at RespectAbility, a diverse, disability-led nonprofit that works to create systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities, and that advances policies and practices that empower disabled people to have a better future. She brings more than 10 years of experience in the news media and entertainment, corporate, and private philanthropy sectors where she has cultivated success in sourcing, strengthening, and growing business development and donor relationships.

Previously, Soares served as the Corporate Development Director for PBS in Central California, overseeing corporate development underwriting and sponsorships including notable collaborations with Ken Burn’s “Country Music,” Nature “American Spring Live,” and the National Sikh Campaign’s development of public service announcements.

Passionate about diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, Soares previously co-founded the Young Adult Leadership Council (YALC) at the National Center for Learning Disabilities where she participated as a mentor for young adults as they progressed through higher education and into the workforce.

Soares obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mills College, where she created a major titled “Business, Management, and Social Innovation.” Soares resides in California where she spends her free time exploring and hiking through National Parks or visiting her hometown of Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula.

Meet our Staff

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

0 comments… add one

Leave a Reply



Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.


Mailing Address:
43 Town & Country Drive
Suite 119-181
Fredericksburg, VA 22405

Office Number: 202-517-6272



RespectAbility and The RespectAbility Report is a GuideStar Platinum Participant. GuideStar Platinum Participant Logo

Back to Top

Translate »