Skip Navigation
Image of people smiling in a recording studio.

Bio – Lab

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum, RespectAbility Vice President, Communications and Lab Founder

head shot of Lauren wearing an orange blazer, smiling and facing the camera

Lauren Appelbaum, Vice President of Communications

Lauren Appelbaum is the VP, Communications, of the disability advancement nonprofit RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. As an individual with an acquired nonvisible disability – Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy – she works at the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. She regularly conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible for entertainment executives throughout the industry.

Appelbaum partners with studios, production companies and writers’ rooms to create equitable and accessible opportunities to increase the number of people with lived disability experience throughout the overall story-telling process. These initiatives increase diverse and authentic representation of disabled people on screen, leading to systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities. She has consulted on more than 100 TV episodes and films with A&E, Bunim-Murray Productions, NBCUniversal, Netflix, ViacomCBS, and The Walt Disney Company, among others. She represents RespectAbility on the CAA Full Story Initiative Advisory CouncilDisney+ Content Advisory CouncilMTV Entertainment Group Culture Code and Sundance Institute’s Allied Organization Initiative.

She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working in development, production and post-production. She is a recipient of the 2020 Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award for this Lab.

Appelbaum is a sought-after expert and has been quoted by many national publications including Associated PressDeadlineThe Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, The Los Angeles Jewish JournalThe New York Times, RealScreenReutersTabletUSA Today, Variety and The Washington Post. She has spoken on panels at the RealScreen Summit, Sundance Film Festival and SXSW, among others.

Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Appelbaum has a master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University; she also has undergraduate degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She serves on several national and local nonprofit boards. Appelbaum currently lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and dog.

Contact Lauren Appelbaum

Reach Appelbaum at LaurenA@RespectAbility.org or on Twitter @laurenappelbaum.

Tatiana Lee

Tatiana Lee, RespectAbility Senior Entertainment Media Associate

Photo of Tatiana Lee

Tatiana Lee, Inclusionist

Tatiana Lee is an award-winning actress, international model and Hollywood influencer. She serves as a Hollywood Inclusion Associate at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Growing up in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Lee felt unseen in popular media – and when she told people of her ambitions to be an actress and model, they laughed.

Notwithstanding, Lee moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. She learned how to harness social media’s power to speak boldly about accessibility and inclusion in mass media, due to the lack of access and opportunities for herself and others with disabilities.

She is the voice behind the Accessible Hollywood brand, which highlights her journey as an actress, model and lifestyle influencer born with Spina Bifida.

She quickly has become a sought-after speaker for brands like Apple, Bank of America, Human Rights Watch and the LA Film Festival, to name a few.

Lee was in one of Apple’s first ad campaigns featuring people with disabilities using Apple’s accessible features and products.  Some of Lee’s credits include “Stand Up,” which premieres at Superfest during fall 2020 and “Coffee with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.”

She also has appeared in modeling campaigns for Target, Zappos, Apple and more. She was the 2018 recipient of the Reeves Acting Scholarship from The Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation for her contribution to further disability inclusion in film and media.

Currently working at RespectAbility, Lee consults on a variety of TV and film projects, conducts training for studios and production companies including NBCUniversal, Netflix and The Walt Disney Company, and assists with RespectAbility’s Lab for Entertainment Professionals with Disabilities.

In her spare time, Lee continues to train and grow momentum in her acting and modeling endeavors.

Bryan Munguia

RespectAbility’s Hollywood Inclusion Fellow and Summer Lab Program Intern

RespectAbility fellow Bryan Munguia smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Bryan Munguia

Bryan Munguia first joined RespectAbility as a Communications and Diversity in Film & Television Fellow in the National Leadership Program at Respectability in Spring 2018. Now, he is a rising senior in college pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication at Pepperdine University. Being a son of Mexican immigrants and a first-generation college student, he has become deeply invested in the variety of issues that minorities face in our society.

As a child growing up in Simi Valley, California, which is only a highly congested freeway ride to the hub of Los Angeles, he became passionate about professional acting and went through cycles of extensive acting workshops and talent agencies. Like many other LA rookie actors, the industry was simply not opening the door for him when it came to work.

Munguia’s passion for the entertainment industry then shifted to behind the camera in the business sector, and he soon started interning for a local talent agency that represented a variety of professional talent. This was the first internship that provided a hands-on experience in the casting process of television and film projects. He soon realized that the industry was not as glamorous as he thought because he had a closer look at the alarming lack of diversity that exists in the entertainment industry.

Leaving that internship, Munguia knew from that day forth that he would invest his own energy and time into changing Hollywood and bringing in the necessary diversity that can break many negative stereotypes in society. He hopes to achieve Hollywood diversity by effectively communicating with entertainment leaders and creating an inclusive working environment for talented minorities with disabilities.

Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.

CONTACT US

East Coast: 11333 Woodglen Drive, #102, Rockville, MD 20852

West Coast: 5115 Wilshire Blvd, #231, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Office Number: 202-517-6272

Email: info@respectability.org

GUIDESTAR PLATINUM

RespectAbility and The RespectAbility Report is a GuideStar Platinum Participant. GuideStar Platinum Participant Logo
© 2021 RESPECTABILITY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SITE DESIGN BY COOL GRAY SEVEN   |   SITE DEVELOPMENT BY WEB SYMPHONIES   |      SITEMAP
Translate »