Easterseals has been teaming up with the entertainment industry to increase inclusion for those with disabilities in front of and behind the camera, with the goal of changing the way the world defines and views disability.
The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge has given filmmakers – with and without disabilities – the opportunity to collaborate and tell unique stories that showcase disability in its many forms.
Since the Challenge launched in 2013, aspiring filmmakers from around the world have created more than 200 short films which have been viewed online and at festivals. This summer, each of the 58 films produced during the 2018 film challenge will be screened on the challenge's Facebook page, with a new film shown each day. The "Summer Screening Series" looks to increase awareness and attention for all the challenge films and production teams.
Easterseals also recently partnered with Variety to issue a Writers' Challenge. The call to action was launched at the beginning of Variety’s recent event, 'A Night in the Writers Room,' which was created to provide writers with resources and information from seasoned writers and showrunners.
Nic Novicki, Easterseals Southern California board member and founder of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, explained at the beginning of the evening that the challenge asks writers to include at least one writer with a disability in their writers' room, and make it commonplace to have people with disabilities in their scripts. It also requests that showrunnings instruct casting directors to include people with disabilities in crowd scenes.
Nic also stated that “True inclusion will not happen until disability has a prominent place at the table.”