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Virtual Workshop: Learn From Ryan O’Connell

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Watch the recording on YouTube with captions

RespectAbility invites you to a new series of virtual workshops for people with disabilities in the entertainment industry. We invite you to participate in one or all! Work on your craft and learn new skills! Network with industry leaders and peers!

Ryan O'Connell smiling headshotOur first guest was Ryan O’Connell, Netflix’s Special writer/producer and actor. Learn about his career as a writer and how he used his personal story to get a show on Netflix. Also, what is Ryan doing to get through this time – both personally and professionally? The conversation was moderated by Tatiana Lee, and there was an opportunity for Q&A from participants as well.

According to GLAAD’s 2019-2020 Where We Are on TV Report, while the 2019-2020 television season includes 27 characters with disabilities, versus 18 in 2018-19, that number still vastly underrepresents the actual number of people with disabilities, representing less than one-sixth. Furthermore, while more than one-third of LGBTQ+ adults have a disability, GLAAD’s report found there are too few LGBTQ+ characters with disabilities.

Ryan O’Connell is helping to change that. His Emmy-nominated Netflix series Special premiered one year ago and broke new ground for representation of LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities. Netflix has renewed this comedy series for a second season. Season 1 of Special is available to watch on Netflix now. We highly recommend watching it prior to this workshop!

Are you interested in presenting during one of these workshops? We would be delighted to give you a platform to share your knowledge. Email Lauren Appelbaum for more information: LaurenA@RespectAbility.org.

Meet the Author

Eric Ascher
Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Communications Director in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Fellows.

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