SUPPORT INCLUSION

HERE ARE WAYS YOU CAN ADVANCE DISABILITY REPRESENTATION IN ENTERTAINMENT.
ANYONE CAN HELP.

CASTING DIRECTORS

  1. For a role where the character has a disability, give actors with disabilities a chance to audition.
  2. Audition actors with disabilities for roles that do not explicitly reference disability as a character trait.
  3. Include people with disabilities in crowd scenes and as background characters.

HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR CASTING PROFESSIONALS:

  • SAG-AFTRA’s Performers with Disabilities Committee’s mission is to achieve full access for and inclusion of performers and broadcasters with disabilities by working to increase employment opportunities and improve working conditions in all areas of entertainment and news media.

    sagaftra.org

  • Casting Society of America hosted its first “Open Casting Call on Disability” in early 2018. More than 50 casting directors opened their doors and on a single day auditioned nearly 900 actors with a disability. For more information on open call auditions and the work the CSA Inclusion & Diversity Committee are doing, visit their FB Page
    www.facebook.com/CSAInclusionAndDiversity
    or email: InclusionAndDiversity@CastingSociety.com
  • Casting directors can find performers with disabilities quickly and easily by visiting
    ActorsAccess.com
  • Gail Williamson at Kazarian/Measures/Ruskin & Associates oversees the agency’s Diversity Department, which specializes in character actors and models with diverse disabilities for Film, Television, Commercials, Theatre, Print and Live Appearances.
  • Sanford Casting has worked with many top commercial, television and film directors, production companies, and advertising agencies. Several of these clients have been nominated or have won the Oscar, Emmy, DGA and various other awards while collaborating with Sanford Casting.

    http://www.sanfordcasting.com/casting/main/

  • Telsey + Company, founded in 1988, is an award-winning organization of casting professionals in New York City and Los Angeles, with local, regional, national, and international clientele and projects spanning all media of performance art (film, television, theatre, commercials, dance, and more). As the recipient of the 2017 Casting Society of America Award at the Media Access Awards, Telsey + Company is an industry leader in inclusive casting.

    www.telseyandco.com

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ACTORS WITH DISABILITIES

  1. Gain experience and build your network by participating in workshops, on-stage shows and practice auditions.
  2. Submit yourself for roles or have your representation submit you for roles that may or may not explicitly reference disability.
  3. Get out there, create and share your own content and stories!

HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR ACTORS WITH DISABILITIES:

  • Attend workshops and events through ‘Meet the Biz’, an organization dedicated to developing educational opportunities and accessible resources for actors – with and without disabilities – through workshops that connect them with entertainment industry professionals willing to share their knowledge and advice.
    http://meetthebiz.net
  • Inclusion Films, started in 2007 by veteran filmmaker Joey Travolta, teaches filmmaking to individuals with developmental disabilities in five dedicated production studios throughout California. In addition to our workshops, we travel the country doing short film camps for children and teens with autism.

    https://www.inclusionfilms.com

  • The Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts serves as an expert advocate and educational resource for full inclusion in theatre, film, television, and related media by working closely with actors, directors, writers, designers, choreographers, as well as networks, production companies and arts organizations.

    http://inclusioninthearts.org


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WRITERS

  1. Include at least one writer with a disability in your writers' room. If you are having trouble finding qualified writers, we can help.
  2. Make it commonplace to have people with disabilities as characters in your scripts - write in at least one character with a disability to your next script. Disability is simply a characteristic no different than the color of their hair, or gender, or any other aspect of being human.
  3. Instruct your casting directors to include people with disabilities in crowd scenes!

HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR FILM AND TELEVISION WRITERS:

  • WGAW members can contact Tery Lopez, who directs the Inclusion and Equity Department and will offer insight into including qualified candidates as writers, or Allen Rucker, who chairs the WGAW Disability Committee

HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR ASPIRING WRITERS AND FILMAKERS:

  • Disney | ABC Writing Program: https://www.abctalentdevelopment.com/writing_program.htm
  • Film Independent’s membership programs: https://www.filmindependent.org/membership
  • Tribeca Film Institute’s professional development programs: https://www.tfiny.org/programs/filmmaker_program

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DIRECTORS / PRODUCERS

  1. Disability is an untapped market! Discretionary income for working-age people with disabilities is estimated to be more than $21 billion. Make sure this community is included in your project.

HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR DIRECTORS AND PRODUCERS:

  • Film Producers looking for experienced writers with disabilities should utilize the WGAW’s Feature Writer Access Project . The goal of this peer-judging program is to increase access of historically underemployed writers in the feature film arena -- minority writers, writers with disabilities, women writers, writers 60 and older and LGBTQ+ feature film writers -- to agents, managers, studio executives and producers of feature films. The Project also benefits executives who are acquiring or developing feature film scripts by highlighting a strong pool of diverse candidates for their consideration.

    https://www.wga.org/members/programs/feature-writer-access-project

  • TV Producers looking for experienced writers with disabilities should utilize the WGAW’s TV Writer Access Project , a program designed to identify excellent, historically underrepresented writers with television staffing experience. Here, qualified WGAW members are invited to submit their work in one of five inclusion and equity categories: minority writers; writers with disabilities; women writers; writers age 55 and over; and LGBT writers. Scripts, undergo two rounds of judging, are read and scored on a blind submission basis by WGAW members with extensive television writing experience, including current and former showrunners and writer/producers.
    Learn more:

    https://www.wga.org/members/programs/tv-writer-access-project

  • Alpha Studios is a collective of digital artists and creative producers proud to provide high quality visuals to every project regardless of size or scope.
    Founded by Kaitlyn Yang:

    kaitlyn@alphastudios.com

HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR ASPIRING DIRECTORS:

  • The CBS Directing Initiative is a specialized program providing diverse DGA directors professional guidance, access to executives and showrunners and shadowing opportunities. Each year we select between 3-5 diverse/female directors to shadow from prep to post on various shows. With 18 alumni, it has helped launch the careers of 14 directors (booking episodes, representation, progressing to other programs). Notable alumni include Zetna Fuentes (CBS Pilot Chiefs, Madam Secretary, Zoo, Jane the Virgin, Shameless, Scandal), David Rodriguez (S.W.A.T., NCIS: Los Angeles, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, Queen of the South), Heather Cappiello (Madam Secretary, Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods) and Lily Mariye (Criminal Minds, NCIS: Los Angeles, MacGyver).
    For more information visit:

    https://www.cbscorporation.com/diversity/diversity-institute/directing-initiative

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STUDIOS /
NETWORKS

  1. Prioritize inclusive hiring practices for all roles in the company.
  2. Use casting facilities that are on the ground floor or are otherwise fully accessible.
  3. Execute fully inclusive events, by utilizing ASL interpreters and ensuring complete accessibility for those with mobility disabilities.

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BELOW THE LINE PROFESSIONALS

  1. Prioritize inclusive hiring practices for all roles in the company.

HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR ASPIRING BELOW THE LINE PROFESSIONALS:

  • Exceptional Minds is a nonprofit vocational school and working studio that prepares young adults on the autism spectrum for careers in digital animation and visual effects, with credits including ‘Star Wars’, ‘Black Panther’, & ‘Game of Thrones’!
    Susan Zwerman:

    susan@exceptionalmindsstudio.org

  • Launched in 2018, the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) Film Music Composer Initiative is designed to identify talent for music production opportunities throughout the film group, including, but not limited to, such business units as Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, and Universal 1440 Entertainment.

    http://www.universaltalentdevelopment.com/composers

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ALL ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS

HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR ALL ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS:

  • ADA National Network: The network provides information, guidance and training on how to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to support the mission of the ADA to “assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.” Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), the network consists of 10 Regional ADA Centers located throughout the United States and an ADA Knowledge Translation Center (ADAKTC). Each Regional ADA Center focuses on its region’s unique needs.

    www.adata.org

  • Disability:IN, formerly known as the US Business Leadership Network, is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Partnering with more than 160 corporations, Disability:IN expands opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises. The organization and 50 affiliates raise a collective voice of positive change for people with disabilities in business. Through its programs and services, Disability:IN empowers businesses to achieve disability inclusion and equality, with the goal of advancing inclusion to the point when the organization is no longer necessary.

    https://disabilityin.org

  • Founded in the late 1970’s by Norman Lear, Fern Field, and Norman G. Brooks, and now chaired by Deborah Calla and Allen Rucker, the Media Access Awards is an annual celebration of accurate, inclusive, and multi-faceted depictions of people with disabilities in fields including writing, producing, casting, performance, and directing. Learn how you can get involved!

    www.mediaaccessawards.com

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