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RespectAbility to Release New Resource Promoting Employment, Entrepreneurship Among People with Disabilities

Los Angeles, CA, Feb 3 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization committed to fighting stigma and advancing inclusion of people with disabilities, will host a webinar on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. ET / 10:30 a.m. PT to release a new resource, “People with Disabilities at Work: A Resource Guide to Achieving Economic Independence and Inclusion Through Employment and Entrepreneurship.” To register for the webinar, visit:

The comprehensive guide, intended for youth and adults with disabilities, their families and advocates, covers topics ranging from transitioning from school to work to the importance of mentoring and networking in securing successful employment outcomes.

“I thought all about the things I wish I knew when I started on my own journey, and so I set out to put together the kind of practical guide that I myself wish my parents and I would have had,” said the guide’s author, RespectAbility Vice Chair Ollie Cantos. He emphasized that this is a dynamic eBook for the disability community as it will be periodically updated with new resources.

“People with disabilities want to work, and self-employment and entrepreneurship often are overlooked as paths to economic security for them. This guide not only offers hundreds of career development, employment rights and job training resources, it also connects users to information that can help turn the dream of starting a small business into reality,” said RespectAbility’s board chairman, Rep. Steve Bartlett.

Recent data show that the unemployment rate among people with disabilities is nearly twice that of people without a disability. Recognizing the financial challenges faced by so many Americans during the pandemic, particularly people with disabilities, this new resource offers timely information for those seeking economic self-sufficiency and security through employment or small business ownership.

Cantos added: “People can have the drive to succeed. But, if they don’t know what they don’t know, they can end up missing out. With this eBook as their handy and trusty guide, absolutely nothing is out of reach!”

View the eBook on RespectAbility’s website:

Media Contact

Lauren Appelbaum
[email protected]

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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