Unprecedented Opportunity for Entertainment Professionals with Disabilities
2022 Entertainment Lab Dates:
Los Angeles (In-Person): June 6 – July 15, 2022
Fellows must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination and booster to participate or have a medical reason for why they cannot be vaccinated. There may be regular testing requirements to attend in-person events.
Virtual: August 15 – September 23, 2022
Applications for 2022 have closed. Thank you for your interest!
RespectAbility’s fourth annual innovative Entertainment Lab for entertainment professionals with disabilities is a 6-week, 12-session Lab for people with experience in development, production and/or post-production, and careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators, and other production roles. This is not a program for actors.
The Entertainment Lab aims to help develop and elevate the talent pipeline of professionals with disabilities working behind-the-scenes in television, film, and streaming, while introducing them to studio executives and other decision makers who will advise Lab Fellows on various aspects of the industry and their craft. Lab alumni currently are working at Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Showtime, Nickelodeon, Disney, and more.
This year we are excited to return to an in-person Lab and offer a virtual version for those who would find an in-person Lab inaccessible. Sessions for both include:
- Presentations, roundtables, and other workshops with high-level executives and talent from major studios, networks, and production companies
- Informal networking with your cohort
- Project workshops and table reads
RespectAbility provides ASL interpreters and captioning for all educational and related networking events, and welcomes other accommodations requests. For questions pertaining to the Summer Lab, please contact Jacquill Moss at Lab@RespectAbility.org.
Important Details for Lab Applicants
- Excellent communication and organizational skills are strongly preferred, and participants should exhibit leadership skills to complete their own projects.
- A bachelor’s degree is not required as long as applicants have acquired the skills needed for their chosen career path in another way.
- Commit for 12 sessions over six weeks.
- The value of this Lab is thousands of dollars. However, there is no cost to apply for or participate in this competitive program.
- While people at all income levels are encouraged to apply, extra consideration will be given to people on SSI, SNAP, and TANF.
- Up to 20 candidates will be selected for each Lab.
- Your application materials will be evaluated by RespectAbility staff members as well as faculty advisors who are experts in each field. View the 2021 Faculty Advisors: www.respectability.org/respectability-la-lab-2021.
RespectAbility’s Labs are supported in part by:
A+E Networks, Final Draft, The Harnisch Foundation, Murray/Reese Foundation, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Pop Culture Collaborative, Sony Pictures Entertainment, ViacomCBS, The Walt Disney Company
Recipient of The Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award
Entertainment Lab Programmatic Team
SVP, Communications and Entertainment & News Media
Lab Founder & Program Director
Entertainment Outreach Program Manager
Entertainment Media Associate
Entertainment Media Program Coordinator
Entertainment Media & Lab Apprentice
2022 Faculty Advisors
RespectAbility Senior Production Advisor and 2019 Lab Alum
Cinematographer & Director
Women of Color Unite
2019 Lab Alumna
Producer and Director, Business Development – Diversity and Inclusion,
Staff Me Up
|Kathy Le Backes
Director, Content Advisement – Representation, Inclusion, Strategies & Engagement,
The Walt Disney Studios
Sr. Research and Curriculum Manager,
9Story Media Group
2019 Lab Alumnus
MPAC Hollywood Bureau
RespectAbility Entertainment Media Apprentice and 2020 Lab Alumnus
RespectAbility Senior Production Advisor and 2019 Lab Alumna
Producer, Best Summer Ever
Director, Equity & Inclusion, Content, Warner Bros. Discovery
Executive Director of Current Programming, ABC
CEO, Picture Motion Campaigns
Lab Co-Founder & RespectAbility Board Vice Chair
COO & Head of Business Affairs, Exodus Film Group
View 2021 Faculty Advisors and Speakers: https://www.respectability.org/respectability-la-lab-2021,
2020 Faculty Advisors and Speakers: www.respectability.org/respectability-la-lab-2020, and 2019 Faculty Advisors and Speakers: www.respectability.org/respectability-la-lab-2019.
More Background Information
Just 3.1 percent of primetime scripted television characters have disabilities, compared to 25 percent of adults in the U.S. having a disability. Almost all portrayals of people with disabilities are white, despite the fact that disability impacts all. Furthermore, actors without disabilities play the majority of all characters with disabilities.
Entertainment contributes to our values and ideals. What we see and feel impacts how we act. RespectAbility works with entertainment leaders to promote authentic, accurate, diverse and inclusive media portrayals on TV and in film.
Opening the inclusion umbrella is the right thing to do as well as economically smart: The disability market is valued at more than $1 trillion.