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Madagascar: A Little Wild Leading the Way on Deaf and ASL Inclusion in Animation

Presented in Partnership with DreamWorks Animation

Date: Friday, January 21
Time: 2:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. CT / 12:00 p.m. MT / 11:00 a.m. PT
Duration: 60 minutes


Have you seen DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar: A Little Wild on Hulu or Peacock TV yet? For six seasons, RespectAbility Vice Chair Delbert Whetter, along with Jevon Whetter and Justin Maurer, consulted on this series, which includes a deaf character who uses sign language; the character’s sister also signs. Chimpanzee siblings Dave and Pickles are breaking barriers and are part of a movement changing the landscape of disability representation in children’s television and streaming content. Dave and Pickles have a meaningful story arc throughout the entire series and Dave is not defined by his deafness.

New this season, a little girl named and modeled after deaf actress Shaylee Mansfield trades cards with Dave at the zoo. She was animated by using a video reference of her performing the role. In what is possibly a first for deaf performers, she is credited alongside the “audible” voice actors for her “sign over” performance in the episode “‘Gloria’s Got ‘Em All.”

Learn from the team’s ASL consultants as well as Executive Producer Johanna Stein and Actress Shaylee Mansfield on how they worked together to bring about dynamic deaf characters. [continue reading…]

Success in the Workplace: Engaging People of All Abilities

Date: Monday, February 28
Time: 5:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. PT
Duration: 60 minutes


Success in the Workplace: Engaging People of All Abilities. Headshots of three speakers. Logos for RespectAbility, Jewish Residential Services, and Jewish Federation of Greater PittsburghInclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace is not only good for the community – it’s also good for business! Join us virtually on Monday, February 28th from 5:30-6:30 PM for a conversation exploring the benefits of a diverse workforce with:

  • Jeremy Shapira, Chief Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity Officer at Giant Eagle, Inc.
  • Lee Chernotsky, Chief Encouragement Officer at ROSIES Foundation, a workforce development organization for people with diverse abilities
  • Moderator: Becky Johnson, Director of the Career Development Center at JFCS Pittsburgh, which strives to create a diverse regional workforce

Held in celebration of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month, this event is co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, RespectAbility, and Jewish Residential Services. The event is open to all. Please contact Caitlin Lasky at with questions.

RespectAbility Summit 2022

Sunday, July 31 – Tuesday, August 2 on Capitol Hill

You are invited to join RespectAbility for three days of fantastic sessions that prepare people with disabilities and the disability community for a better future.

This event will be fully accessible, with an ASL interpreter and live captions. We currently expect the event to be in-person. We will require that all attendees be vaccinated, unless they have a medical exemption. This event will also be recorded and shared with open captions. [continue reading…]

Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.


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

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

Office Number: 202-517-6272



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