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Bio – Children’s Lab 2022 Fellows

Deirdre Morales

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

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Deirdre Morales

Deirdre Morales (she/her) is a writer and producer based on the east coast. Originally from rural NH, Deirdre began her career in children’s television at Sesame Workshop and “The Wonder Pets” on Nick, Jr. before receiving her MFA in film production from Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts. As a film student, Deirdre was a finalist for the PGA Debra Hill Fellowship and as a writer, her feature screenplay was a top ten finalist in the 2015 Bluecat Screenplay Competition out of over 5,000 entries. After graduation, Deirdre became Vice President of The Pod Advertising where she produced Emmy-winning video content and was the recipient of a gold addy for her work as a video producer and songwriter for the “Safer, Smarter Kids” animated series as part of a childhood sexual abuse prevention curriculum through the Lauren’s Kids foundation and Florida Department of Education. Other notable career milestones include amplifying diverse filmmakers through her work at Wise Entertainment and Film Independent’s artist development programs in Los Angeles. Recognizing that neurodivergent voices have been largely left out of the DEI conversation in film and television and specifically children’s media, Deirdre decided to create “N is for Neurodiversity,” an inclusive preschool series designed for neurodivergent children and their caregivers.

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.

Cassie Palmisano

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

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Cassie Palmisano

Cassie (she/her) is a producer, writer, director, and actor based in Burbank, CA. Since she was little, she heavily valued the art of escapism through reading books or watching television and films. Cassie originally studied musical theater at a conservatory school in New York City before deciding to pursue a degree in her other passion, film. She graduated with a degree in Film with an Emphasis in Production.

Cassie started working in the film industry in 2019 and has worked on several productions in different capacities. She has worked for numerous large studios including Warner Brothers, Lionsgates, Paramount Studios, and Netflix. She also teaches online film classes at the University she graduated from.

Cassie believes it’s important for everyone to see themselves represented in television and film and hopes to share raw stories with diverse characters. She wants to create work that is not only an outlet for audience members to be entertained, but also a safe space they can escape to and possibly learn more about themselves and/or other people we share this earth with.

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.

Charlie Frazier

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

Charlie Frazier headshot

Charlie Frazier

Charlie grew up in the shadow of his twin brother, which explains both his deep insecurities and his pale complexion. As a writer, he believes that tragedy plus time equals comedy; but as someone who doesn’t know how much time he has left, he often leans on pratfalls and scatalogical humor for more immediate laughs. He has developed feature and television projects with MGM, Warner Brothers, Fox, and Universal, among others. Before screenwriting, Charlie worked in early childhood literacy, helping kids understand the absurd dumpster fire that is the English language. He currently lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife, two children, and a dachshund that seemed like a good idea at the time.

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.

Asha Chai-Chang

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

Asha Chai-Chang headshot

Asha Chai-Chang

First-generation Afro-Latina and Caribbean-Asian American to immigrant parents, stigma disruptor with non-visible disabilities, and former finance professional turned flourishing entertainment and media entrepreneur, Asha Chai-Chang is a Spanish bilingual Writer-Director and Emmy Nominated Producer. Her award-winning films “Spoiler Alert” and “All by Design” have been officially recognized for Black Excellence by Oscar-qualifying film festivals and the NAACP. As a Diversity and Disability advocate, Asha is a RespectAbility Entertainment Lab Alum and Speaker, Production Accessibility Coordinator, and Co-Founder and Co-Captain of Slamdance Unstoppable. Ms. Chai-Chang’s work and advocacy in the entertainment industry have led to media coverage in publications including Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Screen Daily, and Forbes magazine, and a personal invite by the President of the United States to the White House in celebration of the 32nd Anniversary for the Americans with Disabilities Act. She proudly serves her communities and represents them within the entertainment industry as a committee member of the Alliance of Women Directors, a founding member of the Platano Pipeline by Blactina Media, a proud member of the Brown Girl Doc Mafia, a Start with 8 Mentee within Women of Color Unite, and Co-Founder & Former Co-President of North Carolina Women in Film & TV.

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.

Adam Hurd

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

Adam Hurd smiling headshot

Adam Hurd

Adam Hurd is a writer and comedian. He came to NYC in search of some kind of meaning to life and found improv instead. Working with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater as an intern and a student, he learned improv and comedy writing from some of the best comedians in the world. After it shut down, Adam decided to commit to a future as a storyteller. He started a business running narrative and experience-focused tabletop role-playing games that has continued to grow over the last three years. Outside of his main work, Adam freelances as a story consultant and video game writer. He is currently the lead writer on an upcoming VR game. He can’t say much about it but swears it’s real.

Adam was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder when he was 18. It has impacted his life heavily, ruining relationships and getting in the way of many different life goals. However, it has also created a rich library of emotions and experiences that Adam utilizes in all his creative pursuits. He is a strong advocate for psychotropic medication and well versed in talking people through their fears about the intersection of meds, the self, and creativity.

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.

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