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Past Events

NDEAM 2022 Employer Spotlight Series: Alaska Airlines

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As we celebrate October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), RespectAbility is excited to share our Employer Spotlight Series, to take a closer look at how various employers are prioritizing disability inclusion. We were proud to celebrate Alaska Airlines with Steve Nelson, Senior Diversity and Inclusion Specialist. Nelson shared how Alaska Airlines is advancing equitable employment for people with disabilities in their organization. [continue reading…]

Jewish Residential Services 2022 Annual Meeting

With Pittsburgh increasingly known as the Hollywood of Appalachia, what does an entertainment industry boom mean for disability inclusion? At the JRS Annual meeting, both local and national advocates provided perspectives on this topic.

head shot of Lauren wearing an orange blazer, smiling and facing the camera color photoKeynote speaker Lauren Appelbaum, Senior Vice President, Communications and Entertainment & News Media, RespectAbility, looked at the topic from a national perspective. Lauren partners with studios, production companies, writers’ rooms, and news organizations to create equitable and accessible opportunities for people with lived disability experience throughout the story-telling process.
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Life Center for Independent Living Annual Meeting

Millie Gonzalez smiling headshot.At the Life Center for Independent Living (Life CIL) Annual Meeting, RespectAbility speaker Millie Gonzalez, M.A. discussed allyship at the intersection of disabled LGBTQ+ identities. Attendees learned how to become a better ally by centering the experiences and amplifying the voices of the world’s largest minority group—people with disabilities—while honoring their intersectional identities as members of the LGBTQ+ and other communities. Attendees explored meaningful actions they can take right now to cultivate inclusivity and build an organizational culture of equity where all people, including disabled LGBTQ+ folks and yourself, can be authentic and thrive.

Candid Webinar: Inclusive Communication – An Introduction to the Vocabulary of the Disability Community

Regardless of intent, words or phrases can express bias. Using the National Center on Disability and Journalism’s (NCDJ) disability language style guide and other practical information, receive tools on how to communicate in an effective and inclusive way. This session covered general terms and words on physical disabilities, hearing and visual disabilities, mental and cognitive disabilities, and seizure disorders. Beyond specific language, learn from communications and nonprofit experts on how to ensure overall storytelling is inclusive of people with disabilities. [continue reading…]

NDEAM 2022 Employer Spotlight Series: JPMorgan Chase

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As we celebrate October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), RespectAbility is excited to share our Employer Spotlight Series, to take a closer look at how various employers are prioritizing disability inclusion. Every week, we will showcase an employer who is either a longtime champion or is at the beginning of their journey towards disability inclusion.

On October 13, we were proud to celebrate JPMorgan Chase with three leaders of their disability inclusion work: Dina Grilo, Danielle Meadows, and Kevin Sylvester.

Animating Disability with Disney Junior’s Firebuds

Jazzy Jones in the animated series Firebuds.With one-in-five people having a disability in the U.S. today, the lack of representation – less than one percent in children’s television – means that millions of children are unable to see themselves in media today. Furthermore, when representation exists, a great deal of disability representation on screen is of white males. By introducing a female Black character who uses a wheelchair, Disney Junior’s Firebuds, which premiered Sept. 21 on Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney+, is ensuring that a population, which is often overlooked, is represented.

NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: Disability: A Part of the Equity EquationSet in a fantastical world where talking vehicles live, work, and play with the humans who drive them, Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, who has muscular dystrophy, voices Jazmyn ‘Jazzy’ Jones, a young Black girl with spina bifida. Jazzy’s older brother Jayden is part of a group of first responder friends who help others in their community. Throughout the series, Jazzy is included in a variety of ways as Jayden’s younger sister, who drives a combination wheelchair and automobile.

Watch Lolo Spencer and series creator and executive producer Craig Gerber have a conversation with RespectAbility’s Lauren Appelbaum and Vanni Le, who worked with the team to ensure authentic disability representation in Jazzy and other characters featured throughout the fictional towns of Gearbox Grove and nearby Motopolis where the series takes place. [continue reading…]

NETTalk: Best Practice Program Models in Disability Employment

Four photos of people with disabilities working from the cover of the new Best Practice Guide. Logos for RespectAbility, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, and Network of Jewish Human Service AgenciesThis webinar focused on the findings of a recently completed study on best practice program models in disability employment. The initial idea for the study came about through discussions at a meeting of the National Affinity Group on Jewish Poverty and its Jobs workgroup – back when the group met in person, pre-COVID!

With funding from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, NJHSA developed and implemented a study on this issue in partnership with colleagues from the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and RespectAbility.

View the Disability Employment Best Practice Guide online.

Launch Talks: The Making Of Queer As Folk

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NBCU LAUNCH and RespectAbility presented LAUNCH TALKS: THE MAKING OF QUEER AS FOLK (Peacock), a conversation with Stephen Dunn (Showrunner), Ryan O’Connell (Actor & Writer), and Andrew Gurza (Actor & Consultant). They discussed the reimagining of the groundbreaking queer drama series and the importance of authentic and intersectional representation in front of and behind the camera. [continue reading…]

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