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Past Events

ADA @31: A Focus on the Future – How Disabled Writers Are Changing the Landscape of the Entertainment Industry

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In this session, we focused on the way disabled individuals, specifically writers, are making a difference in the entertainment industry.

According to a recent report from Think Tank for Inclusion & Equity (TTIE), “93.0% of writers said their most recent writers room had no Disabled or Deaf writers.” Upper-level Disabled or Deaf writers are even more scarce, with only 2.6% of writers reporting that their most recent writers’ room had at least one upper level Disabled or Deaf writer. Currently, the Writers Guild of America West and the Writers Guild of America East do not yet track employment data by disability status.

The RespectAbility Lab for Entertainment Professionals with Disabilities is aiming to change this. To date, 25 of the RespectAbility Lab graduates identify as writers, and several are helping to change this landscape. Lab alumni from 2019 and 2020 currently work in the writers’ rooms for Netflix’s Mech Cadet, CW’s 4400 and Showtime’s Dexter, among others. Of the 30 participants in the 2021 Lab, half of the participants are writers, for both TV and film.

Meet 10 of these writers in this webinar recording: Leo Allanach, Amanda Aguero, Nikki Bailey, Colin Buckingham, Tameka Citchen-Spruce, Bella Cosper, Ty Freedman, Sarah Granger, Juliet Romeo and Hilary Van Hoose. This session was moderated by RespectAbility Lab alumna and 2021 Lab Faculty Advisor Ashley Eakin. [continue reading…]

Fireside Chat with Jim Sinocchi – Lessons on Disability Inclusion for the Post-COVID World

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As more people get vaccinated and companies begin reopening their offices, it is critical to reflect on key lessons from the past year of Zoom calls and remote work. Watch a special conversation with disability employment expert, business leader, and inclusion innovator Jim Sinocchi. Jim talked about how JPMorgan Chase has reshaped their accessibility efforts, how they deliver accommodations both in the office and remotely, and what opportunities lay ahead for future leaders with disabilities. This fireside chat gave audience members unprecedented access to ask their most burning questions about disability employment and the post-COVID world. [continue reading…]

Seeking Blind and Low Vision College Graduates for Careers in Policy and Nonprofit Management

Ollie, Steven, Nick and Leo Cantos, along with Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, Calvin Harris and Vivian Bass at RespectAbility's 2018 SummitWe hosted an event on July 28 at 10:30 a.m. in Santa Monica discussing how blind and low vision college graduates can join our “earn while you learn” virtual apprenticeship program. We’re looking for talented people with blindness or low vision from California who have an interest in public service, running for office, advocating on Capitol Hill, working at a non-profit foundation or in media to join our one-of-a-kind virtual training program. [continue reading…]

ADA @31: A Focus on the Future – Disabled Directors Leading the Way

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Throughout the summer, RespectAbility is hosting a variety of events, “ADA @31: A Focus on the Future.” In this session, we focused on the way disabled individuals, specifically directors, are making a difference in the entertainment industry. Just a handful of directors in the Directors Guild of America identify as disabled. The RespectAbility Lab for Entertainment Professionals with Disabilities is aiming to change this. Eight of the 30 participants in the 2021 Lab are directors and attendees of this event met six of them: Asha Chai-Chang, Ben Fox, Cashmere Jasmine, Jennifer Valdes, Carmen Vincent and Alaa Zabara! This session was moderated by RespectAbility 2020 Lab alumnus Andrew Reid.

Any questions? Please contact Tatiana Lee at Tatiana.Lee@RespectAbility.org. [continue reading…]

“Leaders of the Future” – Accessible Events: Both In-Person and Online

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Although 72 percent of nonprofit organizations say they have a policy of nondiscrimination against people with disabilities, too few take simple steps to make their programming truly accessible. For example, fewer than 60 percent of their events are always held in physically accessible spaces. Fewer than one-third (30 percent) offer opportunities for participants at public events to request accommodations like sign language interpreters, live captioning, or food allergy alternatives. This session gave leaders the information they need to ensure that their practices match their principles so that they can benefit from the talents and perspectives of people with disabilities. [continue reading…]

“Leaders of the Future” – Effective Disability Advocacy from the Inside

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One of the greatest ways that leaders with disabilities and their allies can strengthen the organizations in which they participate is by helping to move them toward greater inclusion. That said, the role of an internal advocate is fundamentally different from that of an external change agent. Learn from some successful Jews with disabilities and their allies about how they’ve made change from the inside at their organizations.
[continue reading…]

“Leaders of the Future” – Leading at the Next Level: Working in the Jewish World

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There are many ways to lead in Jewish organizations, from donating time and talent, to active participation. Some will take the ultimate plunge and choose to work professionally for a Jewish organization. In this session, we focused both on the types of opportunities available, and the ways to build on your network and use modern technology so that you may contribute your time and talent. [continue reading…]

“Leaders of the Future” – Development: Foundations

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Foundation funding is at the core of many organizations. There is an art to every part of the process of working with a foundation, from grant proposals to program descriptions, to outcomes and aligning with funder priorities. This panel featured two leaders from the Jewish foundation world who introduced each of these topics, explaining both how you as a volunteer can help, and how you might join the foundation world as a professional. [continue reading…]

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