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Past Events

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

Actor and RespectAbility Lab alumnus Kurt Yaeger  discussed 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 played Dillon Conner, a military engineer who lost one of his legs to an IED. Prior to this conversation, we encouraged you to watch the second season of Another Life, which premiered 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. RespectAbility Fellow, 2020 Summer Lab alum, and media industry activist, Kiah Amara led 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: https://www.respectability.org/ndeam-entertainment-summit

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.

Featuring:

  • 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

Lesley Hennen smiling headshot

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. Writer, producer, and RespectAbility’s Entertainment & News Media Associate Lesley Hennen led a workshop focused on intentional goal setting. Together we worked 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: https://www.respectability.org/ndeam-entertainment-summit

NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: Disabled Black Girl Magic

NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: A Focus on the Future

This event is part of a larger series of events. Learn more: https://www.respectability.org/ndeam-entertainment-summit

The entertainment and media space is challenging to navigate, especially when your identities are intersectional. This session was designed to create and cultivate connections among fellow disabled Black women creatives to support and learn from one another how to shine unapologetically through our work. This session was particularly designed to create a safe space for disabled Black women.

Tatiana Lee smiling outside in a parking lot.

Tatiana Lee

This session was hosted by RespectAbility’s own Tatiana Lee, Senior Associate of Entertainment Media, Actor, Model, and Inclusion Influencer.

Throughout the month of October 2021, join RespectAbility for a series of virtual celebrations, panel conversations and networking opportunities as we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Through a combination of forward-facing panels and breakout networking rooms, participants will learn about writing, directing, producing, self-advocacy and more. Please note that some sessions are open only to entertainment industry creatives who identify as deaf or disabled, as we seek to continue to build community. Learn more: https://www.respectability.org/ndeam-entertainment-summit.

NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit Opening Session: Best Practices for Disability Inclusion

NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit: A Focus on the Future

This event is part of a larger series of events. Learn more: https://www.respectability.org/ndeam-entertainment-summit

To kick off RespectAbility’s NDEAM Entertainment Media Summit, attendees received an overview of who makes up the more than 60 million people who live with some form of physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health or other disability in America as well as statistics on the current state of disability representation in entertainment. They gained a basic understanding of best practices in language, as well as specific tropes commonly found in film and television to avoid. Self-advocates, allies, executives and creatives alike benefitted from this session, leaving with knowledge and best practices on how any one individual can effect positive change to fight stigmas of people with disabilities within their work.

Headshots of Lauren Appelbaum and Vanni Le

Lauren Appelbaum and Vanni Le

This session was by RespectAbility’s Lauren Appelbaum and Vanni Le.

Throughout the month of October 2021, join RespectAbility for a series of virtual celebrations, panel conversations and networking opportunities as we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Through a combination of forward-facing panels and breakout networking rooms, participants will learn about writing, directing, producing, self-advocacy and more. Please note that some sessions are open only to entertainment industry creatives who identify as deaf or disabled, as we seek to continue to build community. Learn more: https://www.respectability.org/ndeam-entertainment-summit.

Emerging Best Practices: Lessons on Virtual Pre-Employment Transition Services from Tennessee

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The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have necessitated the shift to virtual services for many key educational, occupational and transitional service programs. As a part of the constellation of programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) support youth with disabilities during a critical time of their lives. Many states have been scrambling to manage the shift to virtual services and struggling to develop best practices to support client success.

Leaders in Tennessee’s vocational rehabilitation system have published a thorough best practice guide reflecting critical lessons and valuable insights gained about providing effective virtual Pre-Employment Transition Services. This free online learning opportunity directly enabled engaged workforce leaders and self-advocates to understand what works, what is changing and how to plan for an exciting virtual future. [continue reading…]

Cast to the Future: Discovering Disabled Talent

Cast to the Future Discovering Disabled Talent

Disabled Characters: Who gets to write them? Who gets to play them?

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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: https://www.respectability.org/ndeam-entertainment-summit/

Film Fatales and RespectAbility hosted a panel discussion about inclusive casting with casting consultant Ava Rigelhaupt, filmmaker Alaa Zabara (Salahy) and talent agent Gail Williamson (KMR Talent).

The question of who should tell stories of marginalized and underrepresented voices has been much discussed, sometimes leading to heated stances over artistic freedom, cultural appropriation and accusations of censorship. And yet, disabled stories are sorely lacking in representation. Twenty percent of people have a disability while on-screen representation hovers around three percent, with no meaningful change in the last five years. While more attention is being paid to hiring disabled actors for disabled roles, what about opportunities for disabled actors to play nondisabled characters? And who should be writing these roles? What are best practices for inclusive casting and accessible sets? This event was a deep dive into a conversation about inclusive casting for both visible and nonvisible disabilities, creating accessible sets, and ensuring authentic authorship. [continue reading…]

RespectAbility 2021 Strategic Plan Launch Event

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RespectAbility, a diverse disability-led nonprofit organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community, officially announced the release of its new strategic plan. The plan is the culmination of a year-long process that brought together a cadre of key influencers from across the country, building upon evidence-based research, refinement, and results from the past eight years. The result is a bold, forward-looking, and visionary five-year roadmap to shatter old paradigms by engaging in a multifaceted approach to remove physical, programmatic, and attitudinal barriers to full societal participation by people with all types of disabilities.

We hosted with RespectAbility Chairman Ollie Cantos and other Board officers. Attendees learned more about the strategic plan and what is next for RespectAbility. [continue reading…]

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Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.

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