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RespectAbility x Roadmap Writers: Disabled Writers in the Writers Room and Beyond

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NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: A Focus on the Future

This event is part of a larger series of events. Learn more:

This was a discussion in partnership with Roadmap Writers surrounding the experience of disabled writers currently working in the writers room and beyond.

Roadmap Writers is a talent training and discovery platform for screenwriters ready for a guided path to success. Their programs are hosted by working industry executives and are designed to empower writers with actionable tools and insights to elevate your craft and cultivate relationships with industry professionals. Since 2016, they have helped more than 185 writers sign to representation and countless others get staffed, optioned, or sell their script.

Just as no disabled person has the same life experience as another, there is no singular path to the writers room. For many people in the disability community, that path can often feel even more difficult to navigate given the historical lack of inclusion and accessibility in the Entertainment industry. That said, the industry seems to be at a turning point as more and more disabled writers are making their way into the writers room, and more decision-makers are beginning to understand the importance of improving the representation of disabled people both in front of and behind the camera. This event was a conversation with Diana Romero (4400), Marc Muszynski (Dexter), and Shea Mirzai (Space Coyote Productions). They discussed their journeys and experiences as disabled writers currently working in the industry.

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NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: The Birth of Unstoppable: How an Idea is Leading to Inclusive Programming and Advancing Film Festival Accessibility with Juliet Romeo

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Juliet Romeo

Film festivals can be a great place for filmmakers to share their work with live audiences and network with other industry members; however, many film festivals are not fully accessible. Join us for a session with Juliet Romeo, filmmaker and founder of the UNSTOPPABLE Films program promoting disability and diversity inclusion in film. The program made its debut for Slamdance Film Festival 2021 with record-breaking numbers, and many companies including Hulu, Google, YouTube and ARRAY showing their support. During this session, Juliet will share more about the process of creating UNSTOPPABLE Films, and how she hopes it will become a blueprint program for all festivals going forward to include, showcase and celebrate the brilliant works and stories of the disabled community. [continue reading…]

NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: Getting a Job in a Writers’ Room with Marc Muszynski and Diana Romero

NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: A Focus on the Future

This event is part of a larger series of events. Learn more:

Securing a job as a TV writer can be an overwhelming and complicated process for anyone trying to break into the industry, and many disabled writers face additional barriers along the way. However, as the industry is gradually becoming more inclusive and accessible, more and more disabled writers are being hired in TV writers’ rooms and beyond. Join two professional writers and RespectAbility Summer Lab alumni, Marc Muszynski (Dexter) and Diana Romero (4400) as they share their experiences and insight on how to get a job in a writers’ room. [continue reading…]

New Survey: What Do Disabled U.S. Audiences Think Of Representation On Screen?

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Learn about new research from UCLA Center for Scholars & Storytellers. Explore the results of a new nationwide survey. What do disabled U.S. audiences think of representation on screen?


  • Amanda Aguero, Production Assistant, 2nd Assistant Director, Script Supervisor, Stunt Woman and Actress; Alumna of 2021 RespectAbility Entertainment Lab
  • Maira Karan, Report Author and Developmental Psychology Ph.D. Candidate at UCLA
  • Tatiana Lee, RespectAbility’s Senior Associate for Entertainment Media and Actress/Model
  • Diane J. Wright, Screenwriter and a DEI-certified Creative Content Consultant; Alumna of 2021 RespectAbility Entertainment Lab
Headshots of four speakers for the event

Lessons Learned from Kennedy Krieger Institute: Neurodiversity, Collaboration and Transition Success for Youth with Disabilities

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Neurodiversity, system collaborations and transition services for youth with disabilities are some of the most cutting-edge topics in the wider world of disability employment. Fostering cooperation between different programs is critical for achieving transformative results for people with significant barriers to employment.

The Neurodiversity at Work programs at the Kennedy Krieger Institute is built on a foundation of interdisciplinary and interagency collaboration. It offers critical lessons and emerging practices for other youth serving agencies, organizations, and programs. This webinar discussed in detail what makes Kennedy Krieger’s work successful. [continue reading…]

NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: Ensuring Inclusion and Allyship for Actors with Disabilities with Kurt Yaeger, Netflix’s Another Life

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Kurt Yaeger

Join actor and RespectAbility Lab alumni Kurt Yaeger as he discusses how creators, showrunners, and industry executives can ensure inclusion and allyship for actors with disabilities, using his personal experiences working on season 2 of Netflix’s sci-fi space drama Another Life as an example of best practice. Yaeger will play Dillon Conner, a military engineer who lost one of his legs to an IED. Prior to this conversation, we encourage you to watch the second season of Another Life, which premieres on October 14th. [continue reading…]

NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: What is a Production Accessibility Coordinator, Why Do You Need One, and How to Become One?

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Kiah Amara

As we push for more authentic representation for disabled people on-screen, it’s important to push for more accessible sets and working environments for everyone behind the camera, Disability education in production, and community connections that bring authenticity to the stories we tell. Join RespectAbility Fellow, 2020 Summer Lab alum, and media industry activist, Kiah Amara for a session all about the ins and outs of Production Accessibility, and how to get started doing this work and ensuring accessibility for all! [continue reading…]

NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: Fireside Chat with Actor James Caverly and ASL Consultant Douglas Ridloff of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building

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NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: A Focus on the Future

This event is part of a larger series of events. Learn more:

This panel was a conversation with actor, James Caverly and ASL consultant, Douglas Ridloff, of Hulu’s hit murder mystery series, Only Murders in the Building, moderated by Deaf producer, writer, and director, Jevon Whetter (Flash Before the Bang). Together the group unpacked James’ recent experience as a Deaf actor portraying a Deaf character in Only Murders in the Building, and Douglas’ experience as an ASL Consultant on this show and other productions, in a discussion that highlighted current best practices in producing TV and film content with ASL dialogue, Deaf performers, and navigating space with Deaf characters.

This panel also explored some of the behind-the-scenes work that went into shaping one of the series’ most recent episodes, which was shot almost entirely in silence utilizing ASL and other forms of visual communication, and discussed the overall importance of authentic and inclusive storytelling when it comes to on-screen representation.


  • James Caverly, Actor, Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building
  • Douglas Ridloff, ASL Consultant, Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building
  • Jevon Whetter, Producer, Writer and Director
Headshots of Douglas Ridloff, James Caverly and Jevon Whetter.

NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: Intentional Goal Setting with Lesley Hennen

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Lesley Hennen

As disabled creatives, the process of balancing professional and personal goals while also keeping up with the many “to-do’s” of daily life can often feel overwhelming. Join writer, producer, and RespectAbility’s Entertainment & News Media Associate Lesley Hennen for a workshop focused on intentional goal setting. Together we will work toward building a sustainable and achievable path towards our goals, while also sharing some tips and tricks to stay focused yet flexible when life inevitably gets in the way.

NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: A Focus on the Future

This event was part of a larger series of events. Learn more:

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Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.


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