NOTE: This is an archived page from the 2019 Lab. View www.respectability.org/lab for the current year’s Lab information and application.
Unprecedented Opportunity for Entertainment Professionals with Disabilities
Summer Lab Program: June 18 – July 18, 2019
Meet the 2019 Participants: www.respectability.org/respectability-la-lab/respectability-entertainment-lab-2019-team
Great entertainment requires authentic stories and genuine representation of all people. This includes diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. Hence, RespectAbility is thrilled to offer an innovative lab series for emerging entertainment talent, as well as a track for mid-level career professionals. This is not a program for actors. It is a 5-week, nine-session summer lab program for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators and other production roles.
Participants were assigned to one of two tracks:
- Emerging: Young professionals with internship or first job experience under their belt aspiring to become writers, directors, producers, animators and other production positions, with the goal of feeding them into diversity programs at major studios, networks and production companies.
- Mid-Career: A mentorship track for more established individuals with disabilities who wish to take part in the program for the networking opportunities and to serve as mentors for the younger professionals.
This program, which continues building the talent pipeline of young professionals with disabilities looking to work behind the scenes, is made possible with support by: Comcast NBCUniversal, Jonathan Murray and The Walt Disney Company.
Founder, The Miracle Project
|Diana Elizabeth Jordan
Actor / Director / Producer / Speaker / Educator-Facilitator, Performing Arts Studio West
Director, Hollywood Bureau, Muslim Public Affairs Council
Founder and Executive Consultant, Bunim-Murray
Writer, The Good Doctor
Founder, The Divas With Disabilities Project
Chief Operating Officer & Head of Business Affairs, Exodus Film Group
Talent Agent, KMR Diversity Department
- Karim Ahmad, Director of Outreach and Inclusion, Sundance Institute (July 9)
- Sasha Alpert, EVP of Entertainment and Development, Bunim/Murray Productions (June 25)
- Keith B. Alvarez, Executive Director of Human Resources, Bunim/Murray Productions (June 25)
- DMA Anderson, Director, Creative Talent Development & Inclusion, Walt Disney Television (June 20)
- Candace Cable, nine-time Paralympian and Vice Chair of the Board of LA 2028 (July 18)
- Deborah Calla, CEO, Media Access Awards; 14 year Chair, PGA Diversity Committee, Post Term; Advisor/Brazil Council Lead, Geena Davis Institute (July 18)
- Christine Cadena, VP, Diversity & Inclusion Market, The Walt Disney Company (June 20)
- Lee Chernotsky, Founder, ROSIES Foundation (July 18)
- Whitney Davis, Founder, Inclusion in Hollywood (June 18)
- Pam Dixon, Casting Director (July 17)
- Josh Feldman, Sundance Institute Artist Fellow and Writer, This Close (July 9)
- Jenni Gold, Director, Gold Pictures (June 27)
- Elaine Hall, Founder, The Miracle Project (June 18)
- Daka Hermon, Manager, Educational Resource Group, Disney Channels Worldwide (June 20)
- Debbie Hori, SVP of Human Resources, Bunim/Murray Productions (June 25)
- Diana Elizabeth Jordan, Performing Arts Studio West (July 2)
- Megha Kadakia, Sundance Institute Artist Fellow (July 9)
- Elizabeth Kilpatrick, Vice President of Development, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (June 27)
- Chris Kim, Manager, Multicultural Audience Engagement, The Walt Disney Studios (June 20)
- John Lawson, Writer/Director and Actor (June 18)
- Tatiana Lee, Accessible Hollywood (June 27)
- Carolyn Lertzman, Manager, Standards and Practices, Disney Channels Worldwide (June 20)
- Lori Margaret, Content Specialist, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Hollywood Bureau (June 27)
- Dana Martell, Editor & Graduate of BMP’s Editor Training Program, Bunim/Murray Productions (June 25)
- Leah Meyerhoff, Founder, Film Fatales (June 27)
- Paola Mottura, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, Sundance Institute (July 9)
- Jonathan Murray, Founder and Executive Consultant, Bunim/Murray Productions (June 25)
- Sue Obeidi, Director, Hollywood Bureau, Muslim Public Affairs Council (July 18)
- Brian Pacheco, Outreach Specialist, Walt Disney Television (June 20)
- Mike Plante, Sundance Institute (July 9)
- David Radcliff, Writer, The Rookie (July 2)
- Mark Raudonis, SVP of Post Production, Bunim/Murray Productions (June 25)
- Isabelle Redman, Director of Development, LeVar Burton Media (June 27)
- David Renaud, Writer, The Good Doctor (June 27)
- Brian Roberts, Co-Executive Producer, DreamWorks Animation (July 15)
- Shira Rockowitz, Senior Manager of Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program, Sundance Institute (July 9)
- Maddy Roth, Executive, Foundation at Creative Artists Agency (July 17)
- Iz Rubenstein, Sundance Institute (July 9)
- Allen Rucker, Chair, Writers with Disabilities Committee, Writers Guild of America West (July 2)
- Mark Slavkin, Director of Education, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (June 18)
- Megan Sleeper, SVP of Casting, Bunim/Murray Productions (June 25)
- Michele Spitz, Professional Voiceover Artist and Philanthropist, Woman of Her Word (June 18)
- Shoshannah Stern, Writer, Producer, Actress, This Close (July 2)
- Millee Taggart, Bunim/Murray Productions (June 25)
- Megan Townsend, Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis, GLAAD (June 27)
- Josh Welsh, President, Film Independent (June 27)
- Delbert Whetter, Chief Operating Officer & Head of Business Affairs, Exodus Film Group (June 18)
- Jevon Whetter, Writer/Director, Flash Before the Bang (July 2)
- Gail Williamson, Talent Agent, KMR Talent (July 17)
- Aaron Wolf, Director, Actor, Writer and Co-Founder, Howling Wolf Productions (June 25, June 27)
- Michelle Wolf, Founding Executive Director, Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust (July 2)
- Kurt Yaeger, Producer/Director, Writer and Actor (June 18)
- Melissa Elmira Yingst, Anchor, DPAN.tv (July 9)
- David Zimmerman, Founder, Meet the Biz (June 27, July 2)
- Additional speakers from The Walt Disney Company (June 20), NBCUniversal (July 11), Viacom/Paramount (July 16) and Sony Pictures Entertainment (July 18)
More Background Information
Just 2.1 percent of scripted television characters have disabilities, compared to 25 percent of American adults having a disability. Entertainment contributes to our values and ideals. What we see and feel impacts how we act. RespectAbility works with entertainment leaders to promote positive, accurate, diverse and inclusive media portrayals on TV and in film.
- Almost all portrayals of people with disabilities are white, despite the fact that disability impacts all.
- Actors without disabilities play more than 95% of all characters with disabilities.
Opening the inclusion umbrella is the right thing to do as well as economically smart given that the disability market is valued at more than $1 trillion.
Learn more: www.respectability.org/hollywood-inclusion.