On Saturday, October 24, 2009 I AM PWD (Inclusion in the Arts and Media for People with Disabilities) campaign of Actors’ Equity Association, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild; the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and its Writers with Disabilities Committee; and the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts presented The Hollywood Disabilities Forum at UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.Actors feel the there are not so many opportunities for them because they are disable. The event was kind of emotional but it turned as an excellent opportunity for actors and industry experts to exchanged ideas, telephone numbers and even resourceful websites.
Also Writers “Business Impression Management” Workshop presented by Carol Kirschner, Career Consultant and creator of CBS Diversity Institute Writers Mentoring Program & Program Director for WGAW Show runner Training Program.The second part from pm to 4pm feature Keynote Address: How Far is Too Far? At the end they held Join Actors/Writers Panel where they were encourage to ask questions.It was moderated by Allen Rucker, Chair of WGAW Writers with Disabilities Committee.The forum ended with a Networking Reception from to pm.One of the panelist member expert advice was “Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.” An actress asked the panelist what she can do because most of her work is in Los Angeles and she lives in Orange County.
She was suggested to put her self on video or tape such as You Tube.
The advice from the experts was to market themselves via You Tube and My Space.
Per event organizers statement: Fifty-six million Americans and 20% of the US population have a disability.
Despite being the largest minority group in the country, people with disabilities are virtually invisible in entertainment media.
The number of working writers, actors, directors and producers with disabilities is miniscule.
Ideally, in a country where disability rights have been the law for almost twenty years, the barriers should be long gone.