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Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt

RespectAbility’s Entertainment Media Consulting Team

Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt smiling headshot

Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt

Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt (she/her/hers) is a writer, consultant, actress, public speaker, and advocate for disability and autism representation in the entertainment industry.

This June 2021, Rigelhaupt joined the Nickelodeon Live Action Casting Team for their immersive summer internship. Previously, she was an Entertainment Media Communications Fellow with RespectAbility. Rigelhaupt became immersed in the entertainment industry through consulting with studios such as Disney and Netflix on authentic onscreen portrayals of disability and diversity. Rigelhaupt reviews scripts, discusses disability tropes, edits character sketches, and writes casting calls. She remains an ongoing entertainment consultant.

Rigelhaupt is also a speaker on RespectAbility’s Jewish Speakers Bureau and Women and Nonbinary Speakers Bureau. Rigelhaupt shares her lived experiences and expertise through multiple speaking engagements and public/internal panels (e.g. Disney’s Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, Disney and Netflix writers’ rooms, Actors’ Equity, Sundance Film Festival). She publishes articles and critiques of disability representation in media, interviews with entertainment professionals, and experiences as a disabled AAPI woman.

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College class of 2020, Rigelhaupt’s concentrations were screenwriting, acting and psychology. Rigelhaupt was chosen to be a Ruderman Family Foundation Inclusion Ambassador her senior year. Rigelhaupt produced the college’s first sensory friendly theatrical performance. She organized and moderated a panel of NYC professionals discussing entertainment inclusion practices with students and faculty.

Rigelhaupt develops stories based on her life experiences, writing scripts on the road to her screenwriting career, while keeping her eyes peeled for auditioning opportunities! She’s determined to educate and influence the entertainment industry, creating more opportunities and authentic representations for the talented and diverse disability community.

About RespectAbility’s Entertainment Media Consulting Team

Comprised of diverse people with disabilities, RespectAbility’s entertainment media consultants partner with studios, production companies, writers’ rooms and news organizations to create equitable and accessible opportunities to increase the number of people with lived disability experience throughout the overall story-telling process. Learn more about the team.

Meet the Author

Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President, Communications 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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