RespectAbility’s Entertainment Media Consulting Team
John McSween was a Nonprofit Management Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer 2021. [continue reading…]
Domenic Vermeulen (He/They) is a Production HR Coordinator for Lionsgate Entertainment, where they work to implement Harassment Prevention and Diversity Training for productions across the company’s Television and Motion Picture groups. They also work alongside Lionsgate/STARZ’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on the DEI Committee, and hold a seat on the company’s Production Inclusion Coalition. [continue reading…]
Cheyenne Leonard is a life-long wheelchair user and has consistently worked to amplify the voices of underrepresented groups and improve disability representation. From ages 6 to 18, Cheyenne was a Jr. Paralympic track athlete and changed laws in her school district to allow for disabled students to be on their high school track teams. She also represented the U.S. in the 2013 iWAS competition in Puerto Rico. In 2014, Cheyenne worked with Nevada Legal Services to assess discrimination against disabled people in the housing market. She has also consulted on and advocated for accessibility and disability representation in the media both in front of and behind the camera. Some examples of companies Cheyenne has consulted for include Zappos, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and Breakthrough Inc. As a fellow of the inaugural Women’s eNews Loreen Arbus “Accessibility is Fundamental” fellowship, she writes articles on issues affecting the disability community, such as employment, city inaccessibility, and media representation. Cheyenne is a second-year graduate student at New York University getting her master’s degree in Media, Culture, and Communication. A lot of her graduate school work has included disability, such as presenting a paper on disability and media representation at the 2020 New York State Communication Association conference and serving on panels and committees on disability at NYU. Cheyenne’s thesis is an analysis of disability representation in film across genres, which won her the Barbara Haum award from her department.
Colin Buckingham is a Writer, Actor, and Producer based in Brooklyn, NY. His goal as a storyteller and creator is to make projects that are inclusive, intersectional and give a platform for historically excluded, disenfranchised and marginalized persons in order for them to be represented and seen. Originally from Washington, DC, he got his start in writing through choreographing action and stunt coordinating on multiple plays, indie films and webseries. His first short film he wrote, choreographed, produced and acted in is currently in post production. He was a disability and dwarfism consultant for Tomorrow’s Today and another project TBA. As a writer he is mostly self taught, but has taken occasional playwriting and screenwriting courses. He recently started his own production company, “Chromatic Lens”.
Diana Romero has worked in the film/TV industry for over 10 years and has won awards for her films and scripts. Diana worked in development at Lionsgate and Spyglass Entertainment at the start of her career. Additionally, Diana provided script consultation and coaching services via her own company as well as Scriptapalooza and Screenplaycoverage.com. Currently, Diana is staffed on the series 4400, a sci-fi show that will premiere fall 2021.
Natalie Trevonne is an Actress, Model, Dancer and Fashion & Entertainment Accessibility Consultant. She’s currently working with brands, companies and organizations to make sure that people of all abilities can access things independently. Natalie uses her relationship to both the fashion and entertainment industry as a platform to speak out for more representation of people from historically marginalized groups. She currently serves as the creative director and a cohost for the Fashionably Tardy podcast. Fashionably tardy bridges the gap between the disability community and the fashion industry by telling the amazing stories of some dope fashion creatives killing it in the industry today!
Delbert Whetter is deaf, from a multi-generational deaf family, and has attended both deaf schools and hearing schools and universities throughout his life. He possesses native fluency in both American Sign Language (ASL) and English.
Whetter is the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Business Affairs for Exodus Film Group. He served as the lead business affairs executive for numerous entertainment and digital content providers for nearly two decades. Delbert has negotiated talent and production agreements including acquisition, development, and film financing arrangements, and licenses of intellectual properties. He has worked on Exodus animated features, IGOR, The Hero of Color City, and Bunyan & Babe, receiving Co-Executive Producer credit on Exodus’ two recent films. Delbert earned his law degree from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., and his MBA from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.
Delbert serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors of RespectAbility, a national non-profit organization that works with Hollywood to promote inclusion, representation, and authentic portrayals of people with disabilities in media. He also serves on the Disability Advisory Board of SFFILM. He was appointed in 2018 by the City of Santa Monica to serve a four-year term on its Disabilities Commission and currently serves as its Vice Chair.
He is frequently engaged to consult, speak and conduct trainings at numerous entertainment studios, companies and organizations including Hollywood, Health & Society, Walt Disney Studios and its affiliated film/television entities, NBC, DreamWorks Animation, Netflix, and Six Flags Theme Parks.
Delbert is executive producing the upcoming animated feature film Pierre the Pigeon-Hawk, starring the voices of will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Howie Mandel and Whoopi Goldberg.
Delbert is currently producing Flash Before the Bang, a live-action narrative feature film based on a true story about an all-deaf high-school track & field championship team (Film Independent 2020 Fast Track Finance Market & 2018 Producing Lab, 2019 PGA Power of Diversity Master Workshop, 2019 SFFILM Rainin Grant recipient, & 2019 WGA Disability Scene), and Live at the Deaf Club: The Story of Punk Rock at the San Francisco Deaf Club, a documentary about the legendary 1970’s punk rock venue (2020 California Humanities Grant recipient).