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Kelley Cape

RespectAbility’s Entertainment Media Consulting Team

Kelley Cape smiling headshot

Kelley Cape

Kelley Cape (they/she) was an Entertainment and News Media Fellow at RespectAbility. They have consulted on feature film scripts and marketing content to ensure authentic mental health narratives.

Cape has spent their professional and academic career galvanizing inclusive cultures everywhere they go. From creating access to domestic independent agency, diverse STEM workforces and representation on Hollywood’s screens, to directing research studies that challenge ideas of ableism and promote intersectionality, their dedication and passion for DEI is the center.

After working as a respite caregiver for individuals granted state funded living assistance for 3 years, they challenged their own caregiving agency to grow in sensitivity and awareness. Cape pitched a training reconstruction model to corporate executives that would offer anti-ableist strategies of caregiving that empower self-sustainable lifestyles. Chairing this project, they created research-based learning modules that celebrate disability and neurodiversity.

While working with the National Foundation for Autism Research, Cape empowered the neurodiverse community in San Diego as they bridged the tech industry with the STEM talent of young adults with autism. Traveling from company to company, Cape helped spread awareness of the competitive advantage that comes with a diverse workforce to tech powerhouses like Amazon and Qualcomm.

These opportunities exposed the obstacles that people with disabilities face in the professional world that are largely solidified by ignorance and lack of understanding. Cape turned to the entertainment industry as a channel to streamline the production of diverse and inclusive representation that would challenge the dangerous stereotypes holding back marginalized communities. With ViacomCBS’s Global Inclusion team, they championed diversity by supporting their equity centered entertainment initiatives, managing the department’s social media, creating engaging and informative graphics for celebratory heritage months and speaking on panels about best practices for recruitment seasons. Their work ensured the equal accessibility and opportunity to the impactful seats of the entertainment world, both in front of and behind the camera.

As a Communication and Entrepreneurship student at the University of Southern California, Cape used their academics to complement and further their passions of inclusion. They have directed their own research across two major studies: “An Exploratory Study into Neurodiverse Visibility in Television and Streaming” and “A Meta-Analysis of Linguistic History Towards Intersectional Feminism”. Cape’s success has led them to join USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative as a research assistant, where they code new media for diversity metrics and progress.

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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