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

Janie Klein, Policy Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2015

Janie Klein smiling in front of the original RespectAbility banner

Janie Klein

Janie Klein was a Policy Fellow with RespectAbility during the summer of 2015. She cites her older brother as her inspiration for wanting to work with people with special needs. He had ataxia telangiectasia before he passed away. Through Eye-to-Eye Organization, Klein has worked as a mentor and guide to underprivileged middle-school children who have learning disabilities through an arts-based curriculum.

Klein is studying for her Bachelor’s degree in Human and Development Engagement at Temple University. She is currently an education intern for the summer at The National Museum of American Jewish History. Later this year, she will also intern for the School Distrcit of Philadelphia’s Office of Family and Community Engagement. She is a mentor and tutor to a student with special needs at Temple University through the Institute of Disabilities, where she is also a receptionist. She was previously the new student engagement chair at Hillel. She founded a Best Buddies chapter at Temple University to create one-on-one friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


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 for more information.



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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