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Shannon Ryan

RespectAbility Children’s Content Lab for Disabled TV Creators, 2022

Shannon Ryan smiling headshot

Shannon Ryan

With her first word, the Manhattan born Shannon Ryan verbalized a love for children’s television that would burgeon with age. Diagnosed with Coffin Lowry syndrome, a profound hearing loss, and a math disability at a young age. She was blessed with parents who taught their daughter how to advocate for accommodations while encouraging her creative talent and pursuits.

After graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in screenwriting and completing the school’s prestigious Semester In LA in 2012, Shannon became enamored with scripted development while interning at Beacon Pictures and Phoenix Pictures. After holding entry-level positions in broadcast, digital branding, production, talent management, and scripted analysis. She enrolled at the Fierstein Graduate School Of Cinema where she graduated with an MFA in film producing in 2019.

Shannon received the first BAFTA Woman Of Her Word Scholarship. A Home For Curiosities, the award-winning short film she produced has been screened worldwide. This past spring, she co-produced Andy & Kaliope with the actor, disability advocate, and filmmaker Rachel Handler. The disability led & created short was nominated for three Easterseals Film Challenge awards. It has since made its film festival debut.

It is her dream to develop a television series that will showcase authentic representation in its storytelling while inspiring and empowering children. Shannon is wholeheartedly committed to the expansion of opportunity for deaf & disabled talent of all backgrounds on and off camera.

Learn More

After an extensive search and interview process, 15 individuals were invited to participate in RespectAbility’s inaugural cohort of the Children’s Content Lab. This new Lab provides education and training for disabled writers, animators, and creative executives interested in preschool and children’s television and streaming content. Supported by Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, the Children’s Content Lab spans five weeks and includes in-person programming in New York City with production partners 9 Story Media Group and Silvergate Media, a part of Sony Pictures Television.

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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