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For Immediate Release

Celebrated Actors and Filmmaker with Disabilities Team with Easterseals on Urgent COVID-19 Message

PSAs Encourage Everyone to #StayHomeSaveLives during Coronavirus Crisis

Los Angeles, April 15, 2020

Media Contact:
Kristen Barnfield, CK&D Cause Marketing & PR

Tiernan Bertrand-Essington, CK&D Cause Marketing & PR

Easterseals releases new, timely and critically important Public Service Announcements about safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, and encourages all of us to #StayHomeSaveLives. The leading disability services nonprofit joined with filmmaker John Lawson to produce the spots, recruiting a group of twenty celebrated actors within the disability community to record at-home messages about why we all need to stay at home.

The PSA series reinforces that we are all in this together, and asks us to self-isolate, stay at home, and do our part to stop the spread of this virus – especially because people with disabilities, older adults and individuals with chronic diseases may be particularly vulnerable. There are more than 61 million children and adults living with a disability in the U.S., making it the largest minority group in the country.

“Please share these life-saving PSAs with everyone you know,” says Angela Williams, President and CEO of Easterseals. “We are grateful to filmmaker John Lawson for spearheading this quick turnaround effort, and to all of the actors who volunteered their time without hesitation.”

Virtually everyone featured in the PSAs has also, in some way, been involved in the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, including Nic Novicki, the Film Challenge’s founder/director and member of Easterseals Southern California’s Board of Directors. The :15 and :30-second video PSAs are available now for broadcast download and social sharing, and include clips and soundbites from 20 different actors with disabilities, including: Ed Begley, Jr., Coby Bird, Jamie Brewer, L. Scott Caldwell, Patrika Darbo, Tobias Forrest, Micah Fowler, Angel Giuffria, Jenni Gold, Danny J. Gomez, Sammi Haney, Diana Elizabeth Jordan, John Lawson, RJ Mitte, Daryl “Chill” Mitchell, Nic Novicki, Cole Sibus, Millicent Simmonds, Marilee Talkington and Danny Woodburn.

“Through these videos, we see the strength and commitment of a multi-talented group of people, proudly representing the disability community and offering support to our communities in a meaningful and tangible way,” concludes Williams.

About Easterseals

For more than 100 years, Easterseals has served as an indispensable resource for individuals with disabilities, veterans, seniors and their families. Together, our 68 affiliates in communities nationwide serve 1.5M people through high-quality programs including autism services, early intervention, workforce development, adult day care and more. In schools, workplaces and communities, we’re fostering environments where everyone is included and valued — with a real and positive impact on us all. Join us in ensuring that everyone – regardless of age or ability – is 100% included and 100% empowered. Learn more at www.easterseals.com.

About the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge

The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge gives filmmakers—with and without disabilities—the opportunity to collaborate to tell unique stories that showcase disability in its many forms. The annual weekend-long filmmaking contest, open to all, provides a platform for new voices in entertainment. Each year, storytellers are prompted to creatively write, produce and complete a short film. Challenge winners receive invaluable access to entertainment professionals, opening the door to an industry notoriously difficult to enter. What’s more, the Challenge has become an essential entertainment industry event to inspire diverse, rich and authentic filmmaking and advance careers in entertainment. In turn, talent scouts, directors, producers and entertainment companies rely on the Challenge to recruit qualified, but underrepresented talent – in front of and behind the camera. With a 10 million+ audience, the Challenge both entertains and helps build a more inclusive society by capturing hearts and minds, tackling stigmas, and ultimately, changing the way the world defines and views disability. Join us and check out the winning films at www.disabilityfilmchallenge.com.       

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