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Press Releases

Sad News: Passing of RespectAbility Treasurer Ronald Glancz

headshot of Ronald Glancz wearing glasses and a blue tie color photo

Ronald Glancz

Potomac, Md., Aug. 15 – Everyone at RespectAbility is deeply saddened to share the news about the death of Ronald Glancz, after a long battle with cancer.

Until he left his post on July 31 due to his health concerns, Glancz served as the Treasurer of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and expanding opportunities for people with disabilities. Glancz was a key member of the board of RespectAbility, where he led its budget and financials.

“It was truly an honor to serve beside Ron on RespectAbility’s board of directors,” said Calvin Harris, chair of RespectAbility. “His steadfast commitment to fighting stigmas in disability, especially for adults, set the standard for our board. As chair, I will forever be grateful for the grit and pragmatic leadership that Ron brought to Respectability.”

Said RespectAbility President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, “Ron Glancz has done an amazing job for us – and on so many other things for so many people. He has been sound council and really had our backs.” [click to continue…]

RespectAbility Condemns Hate on Anniversary of Charlottesville

Rockville, Md., August 10 – RespectAbility firmly believes that there is absolutely no room in America for prejudice or hate of any kind. We express concern about the Unite the Right rally scheduled for August 12 in Washington, D.C. Hatred of all kinds undermines all people. We are a better nation when we are welcoming and respectful of all people. Let us remember the passion of Heather Heyer and the dozens of injured activists in Charlottesville who put their lives on the line in the ongoing fight for equality. RespectAbility is inspired by their steadfast perseverance, and we will continue to play our role in ensuring that America lives up to its creed for all citizens.

RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for the one-in-five Americans with a disability. People with disabilities cut across every group in America, including those of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and identities, ages and religions.  [click to continue…]

New Documentary Deaf Out Loud to Showcase Three Deaf Families

Interview Opportunity Available with Deaf Out Loud Executive Producer Jonathan Murray

Washington, D.C., July 29 – Following on the heels of the critically acclaimed award-winning original docuseries Born This Way, A&E Network will be debuting Deaf Out Loud in September. A documentary special, Deaf Out Loud follows the lives of three predominantly deaf families who utilize different communication modalities in everyday life.

headshot of Jonathan Murray wearing a gray striped shirt and facing the camera color photo

Jonathan Murray

Executive Producer Jonathan Murray will be showing a sneak preview of the trailer at a summit on Capitol Hill on Monday, July 30 while moderating the panel “Fighting Implicit Bias Through TV and Film.” Panelists include Jeanette Betancourt, SVP, U.S. Social Impact of Sesame Workshop; Crystal R. Emery, who directed Black Women in Medicine; and Rachel Dretzin and Andrew Solomon, director and author of Far From The Tree. The summit, “From Washington to Hollywood and Beyond: The Future of Americans with Disabilities,” is being presented by RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with all disabilities. Murray serves on RespectAbility’s Board of Directors. Interview opportunities with Murray, who created MTV’s The Real World, and produces A&E’s Born This Way, are available during the conference.

Misconceptions exist about deaf individuals – from schooling, to employment and raising a family. Shows like Deaf Out Loud aim to change these misperceptions and has the potential to bring awareness and better understanding about people who are deaf. This show delves into the various ways Deaf culture is expressed and embraced in the United States. The three families will show viewers the diversity of Deaf culture today, and how it differs from hearing cultures.

“People with disabilities need to see positive representations of themselves, both as people with satisfying personal lives and as people who can perform successfully in the workplace,” Murray said. “Those positive images will change for the better the way the greater society sees people with disabilities, opening up more opportunities for them.”

headshot of Marlee Matlin wearing a pink top

Marlee Matlin

As with representation of people with all types of disabilities, Deaf individuals are underrepresented in television and film. There are some good examples, however. Among them are Quantico, featuring Marlee Matlin, who is also an executive producer on Deaf Out Loud; The Silent Child, showcasing the talents of six-year-old Maisie Sly, who uses British sign language; Baby Driver, with a moving performance by the African-American deaf actor C.J. Jones; and Wonderstruck in which deaf newcomer Millicent Simmonds astonished critics and audiences with a magnificent, visually expressive performance.

Deaf film producer Delbert Whetter explained the importance of using authentic deaf actors in a piece for The Hollywood Reporter. “Sign language has tremendous cinematic properties, with unique and complex forms of inflection, intonation and pitch that can take years to master but can amplify and deepen performances in ways accessible to all audiences,” he wrote. Whetter also is available for in-person interviews at the summit.

Headshot of Kaity in professional dress in front of the Respectability banner

Kaity Hagen

RespectAbility’s conference also features Deaf advocate Kaity Hagen, who will be speaking as part of the “Importance of Intersectionality: Enabling People of Color and Immigrants with Disabilities to Succeed” panel. She will be speaking alongside Stepahnie Farfan, an alumna of RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program and Clarence Page, Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist for The Chicago Tribune. Donna Walton, founder and president of The Divas With Disabilities Project, will moderate this panel.

The event will be taking place in the Rayburn House Office Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. Breakfast starts at 8:00 a.m. with formal remarks beginning at 9:00 a.m. The full conference agenda (all open to the press) is available on RespectAbility’s website here: https://www.respectability.org/Summit2018/. Space is extremely limited and RSVPs are required.

Deaf Out Loud is produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, with Murray, Gil Goldschein, Laura Korkoian, Matlin and Jack Jason as the executive producers. Executive producers for A&E Network are Elaine Frontain Bryant, Shelly Tatro and Jeana Dill.

Flag honoring Ronald Glancz to be flown over U.S. Capitol

Glancz to be honored at RespectAbility Event July 30th

headshot of Ronald Glancz wearing glasses and a blue tie color photo

Ronald Glancz

Washington, D.C., July 27 – Ronald R. Glancz, key civic leader, will be honored at RespectAbility’s summit on Capitol Hill on July 30. Glancz currently serves as the treasurer of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and expanding opportunities for people with disabilities. Rep. Brad Sherman will announce the award and present the flag at the event, “From Washington to Hollywood and Beyond: The Future of Americans With Disabilities.” Glancz is a key member of the board of RespectAbility, where he leads its budget and financials.

“It is truly an honor to serve beside Ron on RespectAbility’s board of directors,” said Calvin Harris, chair of RespectAbility. “His steadfast commitment to fighting stigmas in disability, especially for children, set the standard for our board. As chair, I will forever be grateful for the grit and pragmatic leadership that Ron brought to Respectability.” [click to continue…]

Talented Innovators With Disabilities Showcase Secrets Behind 400% Improvement in New Jobs for People with Disabilities

26 July 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Washington, D.C., July 26, 2018 — A panel of diverse leaders with disabilities and their allies are gathering next Monday, July 30 to discuss key insights into the unprecedented success of hundreds of thousands of Americans with disabilities who entered the workforce last year. This panel, composed of disability employment and workforce development leaders, will be presenting between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. as part of a day long summit sponsored by RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities.

The focus of their discussion will be the fourfold improvement in employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities over the past year. According to Census Bureau data, 343,483 more people with disabilities joined the American workforce in 2016. This compares to only 87,201 in the previous year. The panel will explore the key factors driving these unprecedented successes. [click to continue…]

Born This Way’s Emmy Nominations Prove Disability is a Winning Theme

Born This Way cast and producers celebrating their Emmy win on stage at the Emmy Awards. Executive Producer Jonathan Murray holds the Emmy Award.

Born This Way cast and producers celebrating their Emmy win in 2016.

Los Angeles, July 16 – A&E Network’s critically acclaimed award-winning original docuseries Born This Way keeps adding up honors, with four more Emmy nominations this year, bringing the total to 13 nominations and three wins including the Emmy for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Series in 2016, and for Casting for a Reality Program and Cinematography for a Reality Program in 2017.

Produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, Born This Way, an unscripted reality show, follows a group of seven young adults with Down syndrome along with their family and friends in Southern California. Because its focus is on showing their everyday lives, including employment, efforts for independent housing, loves and more, Born this Way breaks down stigmas surrounding disability.

This year, Born This Way is nominated once again for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program, Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program and Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Program, as well as Outstanding Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program. [click to continue…]

Youth with Disabilities Help Homeless, Seniors, Hungry and Local Parks

EDCJCC Summer of Service campers smiling

Summer of Service Campers

Washington, D.C., July 3, 2018 – Students with a wide variety of disabilities, including Autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, learning, attention, mental health and other disabilities are improving the lives of people in need in Washington, D.C. Through a program called “Summer of Service,” the teens are making food for people experiencing homelessness, sorting goods in food pantries, visiting senior citizens and improving area parks.

The program is a partnership between the Edlavitch DCJCC, which has more than 25 years of proven leadership in providing safe, outstanding volunteer service opportunities, and RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities. The program, called “Summer of Service,” is a summer day camp filled with community service opportunities for Washington-area middle and high school students. It is open to students with all abilities as youth with and without disabilities are invited to participate in the inclusive, welcoming and successful program. [click to continue…]

A Reflection on Truth and Acceptance: When Fear Finds a Home

Headshot of Daniel in professional dress

Daniel

It has never been a struggle for me to open up about who I am. In fact, the countless compliments I receive of “you’re so introspective” from peers and adult figures reassured me over the years that I was a certified expert at introspection. I told myself every morning the summer before my freshmen year at college that I had dug and filled all the holes inside me. Had I known I would struggle with depression and anxiety my first two years of college, I would have dug deeper.

I thought it was ignorance at first, but then I told myself “How could I have known any better.” I loved men, not women, and there was no mistaking it. On a tear-filled phone call with my parents on my 20th birthday sophomore year, I told my parents I was gay. I strongly sensed that they’d be accepting, but nonetheless I still had my anxieties and doubts. Once I heard their I-love-you-regardless-of-who-you-love speeches, I felt calmness in my heart. The truth was out there, and I felt brilliant. [click to continue…]

Learning About Myself and Coming Into My Own

Headshot of Lily in professional dress in front of RespectAbility banner

Lily

Growing up, I never knew that being gay was an option. Sure, I would see the occasional couple in public, or overhear something on the radio, but I knew who I was. I was a girl, and girls liked boys. I was naturally drawn to women. All my idols were high achieving girls, and I had intensely personal friendships with girls my age. Looking back, this early conflict between my concept of what I should be, and the person I was rapidly becoming was surely a major aspect of the mental health struggles I would come to face as I grew older. [click to continue…]

At the Intersection of Deafness, Queerness and Being an Asian-American Woman

Headshot of Kaity in a suit in front of the Respectability banner

Kaity

Hello, my name is Kaity, I am Asian-American, and I identify as pansexual and demisexual. Pansexual refers to someone who is attracted to all genders beyond the binary male and female genders, including genderfluid and transgender individuals. Demisexual refers to someone who does not feel a sexual attraction unless an emotional connection is established first. I also am profoundly Deaf in both ears and have cochlear implants.

I came out in November of 2016 a day after President Donald Trump was elected. I posted on Facebook saying that I was bisexual. Bisexual refers to one that is attracted to men and women only. I used the term bisexual because I knew that most of my friends and family would not know what pansexual was. My friends and extended family responded in a positive and supportive manner. My parents already knew I was pansexual. [click to continue…]

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