Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0

Media has unique power to shatter myths or reinforce stereotypes about 59 million Americans with disabilities.

Tari Hartman Squire’s EIN SOF Communications (specializing in disability-inclusive diversity strategic marketing and employment) and Loreen Arbus created and produce the LCA2.0 Collaborative with three objectives:

  • Increase employment of people with disabilities in front of, and behind the camera;
  • Improve disability portrayals;
  • Enhance access to media with captions and audio descriptions.

LCA2.0 is developing strategic planning and creating dynamic collaborations with partners in media including television, advertising, movies, news, theatre and interactive.

Building on the success of LCA2.0 regional resume review, speed interview and flash mentoring Summits in 2016 and 2017 that resulted in auditions, interviews and hires of people with disabilities in front of and behind the camera, we are leveraging momentum.  Here is a sneak preview of some of what we have planned for 2018:



American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As): Summer 2018
BBDO Stories About Us: Spring 2018
Cornell University/National Disability Mentoring Coalition: Disability in Media Mentoring Opportunity Pipeline (MOP): Summer 2018
Summits at the ReelAbilities Film Festivals: March 8 in NYC; March 21 in Boston
PolicyWorks Customized Media Curriculum for Aspiring Media Professionals
LCA2.0 Chicago: July 31, 2018
2017 LCA2.0 Highlights
Collaborations with the Ruderman Family Foundation:
CBS Diversity: April 3, 2017
The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors: April 24, 2017
Bentonville Film Festival: May 3, 2017
Looking Back at 2016
Remembering 2015:
LCA2.0 Back Story
LCA 2.0 Partners
Deaf Film Camp
The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge

American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As): Summer 2018

LCA2.0 is teaming with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) and creating the first-ever “Disability-Inclusive Diversity Competitive Edge,” an unprecedented advertising industry resource for employment and portrayals of people with disabilities. This resource guide is co-authored by Josh Loebner, Director of Strategy, Designsensory and blogger of Advertising & Disability, Angela Rockwood, Push Girls creator, star and model and Tari Hartman Squire, with guest articles by Dominick Evans, Beth Haller, Emily Ladau, Vilissa Thompson, and Maysoon Zayid.


BBDO Stories About Us: Spring 2018

Jd Michaels, EVP Director of Diversity and Creative Engineering at BBDO New York is collaborating with LCA2.0 to create the Stories About Us project, edited by Alec Frazier, CEO of Autistic Reality.  We are soliciting fiction like sci fi, romance, westerns, love stories, super s/heroes, etc. from storytellers with disabilities to help reinforce the importance of the Disability Narrative Imperative, whereby disability stories are told by disabled writers.


Check back for more details and updates.

Cornell University/National Disability Mentoring Coalition: Disability in Media Mentoring Opportunity Pipeline (MOP): Summer 2018

Cornell University and the National Disability Mentoring Coalition are building the first-ever Disability in Media Mentoring Opportunity Pipeline to match and track mentees with media mentors in television, advertising, movies, documentaries, news, theatre and interactive. This unique program is designed for aspiring media professionals and filmmakers with disabilities.  Mentors and mentees will be matched for six month to one-year increments, and LCA2.0 will track career entry and career trajectory of mentees with disabilities, creating and fortifying opportunities for the next generation of media professionals and filmmakers with disabilities.  NDMC also designed and facilitates the signature LCA2.0 Summit networking and mentoring workshop.


Summits at the ReelAbilities Film Festivals: March 8 in NYC; March 21 in Boston

In 2018, LCA2.0 Summits are expanding to new and dynamic collaborations with the ReelAbilities Film Festivals  in NYC on March 8, 2018, and Boston on March 21, 2018, hosted by Northeastern University. For more information on LCA2.0 NYC and LCA2.0 Boston, click here.


These two Summits will proudly showcase short films by our LCA2.0 partners Deaf Film Camp, Easterseals Disability Film Challenge and Inclusion Films Workshop. Aspiring filmmakers with disabilities will walk n’ roll the Red Carpet with current filmmakers whose movies are being screened at the Film Festivals.   We are planning collaborations with other ReelAbilities Film Festival locations, so check back soon.


All LCA2.0 participants, mentors and ReelAbilities filmmakers are encouraged to register for our Media Mentoring Opportunity Pipeline (see above) built by Cornell University and the National Disability Mentoring Coalition.

For more information on the Pipeline, click here.

PolicyWorks Customized Media Curriculum for Aspiring Media Professionals

Based on its critically-acclaimed College-to-Careers (C2C) and Career Access programs, PolicyWorks is lending its expertise to LCA2.0 with design and facilitation of its LCA2.0 participant workshop on Disclosure and Identification of Personal Value to an Employer.


Coming in 2018, PolicyWorks will bring its employer-directed training on presentation and other soft skills series of webinars in the form of modules. This will greatly expand LCA2.0 national impact beyond our regional Summits.


LCA2.0 Chicago: July 31, 2018

Scheduled to coincide with the 28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA28), we will conduct our first Chicago-based LCA2.0 resume review, speed interview, flash mentoring and networking Summit on July 31, 2018 in collaboration with Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago Film Office, Smart PolicyWorks, the Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) and others.

2017 LCA2.0 Highlights:

2017 proved to be a banner year as the entertainment industry further embraced LCA2.0 as its trusted disability-inclusive diversity partner of choice:


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:

Not once, but twice, the Television Academy honored LCA2.0. First, in a featured article, entitled Seasons of Change in EMMY Magazine on LCA2.0 industry activities and collaboration with the Ruderman Family Foundation in the creation of our Ruderman TV Challenge.


Second, LCA2.0 was also featured in the Television Academy’s prestigious video series, entitled Taking Action chronicling our successful LCA2.0 Summit with CBS Diversity held April 3, 2017.


LCA2.0 has its roots in the Television Academy’s Diversity Committee when, seven years ago, EIN SOF produced the original Lights! Camera! Access! for the U.S. Department of Labor, with former Secretary Hilda Solis and former Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez in attendance (insert agenda and Emmy Magazine article).

Collaborations with the Ruderman Family Foundation:

The Ruderman Family Foundation selected LCA2.0 as its disability partner of choice to fortify media advocacy and awareness in Hollywood. The Foundation’s 2016 White Paper on the Employment of Actors with Disabilities (insert URL), co-authored by Danny Woodburn and Kristina Kopić, confirmed that 95% of television characters with disabilities are portrayed by non-disabled actors. Read the White Paper:


To bring that research into action, the Foundation convened its Ruderman Studio-Wide Roundtable on November 1, 2017 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills where over 200 industry professionals and disability leaders engaged in dialogue about creating more disability-inclusive diversity initiatives.


Ruderman Studio-Wide Roundtable photo with RJ Mitte, Robert David Hall, Orlando Bloom, Danny Woodburn, Jay Ruderman, Micah Fowler and Marlee Matlin


Ruderman Studio-Wide Roundtable photo with RJ Mitte, Robert David Hall, Orlando Bloom, Danny Woodburn, Jay Ruderman, Micah Fowler and Marlee Matlin

Next, to bring that research and dialogue into action, the Ruderman Family Foundation turned to LCA2.0 to help envision, design and activate the Ruderman TV Challenge issued to 151 pilots across 39 delivery platforms in network broadcast, cable and internet.


The winners of the Ruderman TV Challenge in collaboration with LCA2.0 were CBS, where11 of its pilots and series hired performers with disabilities, and 20th Century Fox Studios, where 14 of its 23 drama series and pilots auditioned performers with disabilities, and 9 of its 13 comedy series and pilots auditioned performers with disabilities.

Check out the Ruderman TV Challenge coverage in Deadline.

To read the full report, click here.

In November 2017 Tari Hartman Squire, Danny Woodburn, CJ Jones, Wendy Calhoun and Eileen Grubba delivered a content-packed featured panel at the Ruderman Inclusion Summit (insert URL).

Check back for more 2018 collaborations with the Ruderman Family Foundation.

CBS Diversity: April 3, 2017

CBS Entertainment and CBS Corporation Diversity hosted our LCA2.0 Resume Review, Flash Mentoring and Networking event April 3, 2017 that included a panel of professionals moderated by Danny Woodburn, that include:

David Kurs, Artistic Director, Deaf West Theatre

Gail Williamson, Diversity, KMR Talent

Jim LeBrecht, CEO Berkeley Sound Artists

David Renault, staff writer CBS Pure Genius

As a result, performers with disabilities were auditioned and cast in CBS shows.

This Summit was featured in the Television Academy’s Taking Action.


The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors: April 24, 2017

One of the most prestigious Hollywood entities is “The Caucus” composed of legendary and up-and-coming Hollywood executives. These seasoned professionals chose LCA2.0 to partner and create an evening of disability awareness on April 24, 2017, entitled, LCA2.0 Disability Through a Brand New Lens. The Caucus also included a disability awareness survey for its members to coincide with the Ruderman TV Challenge in collboration with LCA2.0.

The panel, moderated by Loreen Arbus, Loreen Arbus Productions, Creator LCA2.0 included:

Scott Silveri, Creator, Executive Producer of ABC hit series Speechless;

Ben Lewin, Writer-Director of the Award-winning feature, The Sessions;

Allen Rucker, Chair, Writers Guild of America’s Writers with Disabilities Committee;

Angela Rockwood, model, creator-star of Sundance Channel’s Push Girls;

Sandra Mae Frank, Deaf West Theatre;

Tari Hartman Squire, CEO EIN SOF Communications, Creator, LCA2.0 Collaborative


Caucus member Loreen Arbus (Center) moderated the “Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0: Disability Through a Brand New Lens” Panel which included Panelists (L-R) Scott Silveri, Creator, Executive Producer Speechless; Allen Rucker, chair, Writers Guild of America West, Writers with Disabilities Committee; Ben Lewin, Writer/Director The Sessions; and director of features and episodic television, including Speechless; Loreen Arbus; Tanya Hart, The Caucus Co-Chair; Tari Hartman Squire, EIN SOF Communications, Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 and Ruderman TV Challenge; Vin Di Bona, The Caucus Chair’s Council; Angela Rockwood, Actress, Model and Producer, Push Girls, and Sandra Mae Frank, Assistant Director Deaf West Theatre’s At Home AT The Zoo @ The Wallis, and Lead Actress Deaf West Theatre’s 2016 Tony Nominated Best Musical Revival Spring Awakening. Photo Credit: David Metzler

Read about The Caucus Panel here.

Bentonville Film Festival: May 3, 2017

In addition to Loreen Arbus’ “Fireside Chat” on philanthropy and disability, the Festival highlighted a lively discussion on the arts and disability featuring Inclusion Films Workshop’s Joey Travolta, and Hester Wagner (who served as moderator), Jane Seymour, Maysoon Zayid, Tari Hartman Squire and local Bentonville professionals working with kids with disabilities.


Looking Back at 2016:

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 produced three LCA2.0 “Call-to-Action” Summits with Resume Review, Speed Interviews, Flash Mentoring, networking and informational panel called “How to Make It in the Media” moderated by Anna Pakman:

Thanks to the 2016 LCA2.0 Summit hosts:

October 31, 2016 – CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

November 14, 2016 – The White House

December 12, 2016 – The White House, hosted by Gallaudet University

The three 2016 Summits brought together 25 media employers and mentors with disabilities to meet 75 high school, college students, recent grads and transitioning youth with disabilities from CA, DC, IL, GA, MD, NY, PA, and VA.  Disabilities of the participants included: Amputee; Autistic; Bipolar; CP; Deaf; Depression; Hard of Hearing; Learning Disabilities; Low Vision. There was a diverse combination of participants of color with disabilities, including LGBT; The participants were both traditional and non-traditional aged and GPAs ranged from 2.70 to 4.0. Majors included broadcasting, digital arts, acting, directing, journalism, film, disability studies, international studies, social work, communications, media arts, entertainment technology, digital cinema and new media.

Check out some of the 2016 blogs about LCA2.0:

Beth Haller’s Media dis&dat

Alec Frazier’s Autistic Reality

Derek Shields’ National Disability Mentoring Coalition: ALF Goes to The White House

The LCA2.0 Collaborative includes EIN SOF Communications, The Loreen Arbus Foundation, ADA Legacy Project’s DisBeat, CUNY Coalition of Students with Disabilities, CUNY LEADS, Deaf Film Camp, Inclusion Film Camp, Gallaudet University, National Disability Mentoring Coalition, National Technical Institute of the Deaf, NY Women in Film & Television, PolicyWorks, SignMation and others.

Remembering 2015:

On July 13 and July 14, 2015, we convened two Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 Think Tanks in New York that were official NYC ADA25 events to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Leadership Awards were given to CBS and the FCC for their disability-inclusive diversity leadership.


2015 LCA2.0 Think Tanks Coincided with ADA25

July 13 was focused on emerging digital platforms and included a keynote by Vinton Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist of Google and one of the two inventors or the Internet. Presentation by other companies included AT&T, Comcast, Panasonic and Yahoo!

July 14 was focused on the Disability Narrative Imperative and featured unions, networks, industry associations, disability leaders and storytellers with disabilities across a variety of genres such as theatre, interactive, gaming, radio, film, broadcasting and television.

The CBS News/LCA2.0/DisBeat internship entering its fourth year. More internships and scholarships are in the development pipeline and will be announced soon.

If you would like to invest in Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0, develop a co-branded internship or scholarship, our fiscal agent is New York Women in Film and Television. To invest, click here.

To receive updates on Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0, and explore investment opportunities, click here.


LCA2.0 Success

Accepted by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) as a “Commitment to Action,” EIN SOF Communications, Inc. and The Loreen Arbus Foundation are teaming up to produce this comprehensive initiative that includes disability-inclusive diversity advertising, entertainment, interactive and broadcast “Think Tanks” and “Call-to-Action” summits to improve disability portrayals on large, small and personal screens, increase employment of civilians and veterans with disabilities in front of the camera and behind the scenes, and increase accessible entertainment for audiences with a variety of disabilities.

Check out our Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, click here.

Check out Loreen and Tari’s CGI Commitment to Action captioned video in sign language, click here.

We are also developing disability-inclusive diversity scholarships and internships to activate the next generation of diverse media professionals. Details are being finalized so check back soon.

Best practices and success stories in advertising that tap the $220 billion disability market include Honey Maid’s This is Wholesome campaign by Droga5 with disability rights attorney Stephanie Woodward; Wells Fargo’s Sign Language commercial by BBDO; Duracell’s Trust Your Power commercial with Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman; Petco’s Co-Pilots spot; and Guinness’ Wheelchair Basketball commercial, by BBDO NY.

Disability-savvy television shows include Switched at Birth; American Horror StoryCSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Breaking Bad; Push Girls, NCIS: New Orleans and Madam Secretary that employs performers with disabilities in the background to more accurately reflect the 8.38% (non foreign service) employment rate of people with disabilities and veterans (with a 30% disability) that work at the real State Department.


Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0

Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 informational flyer and logo

LCA2.0 Back Story:

Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 is built upon the success of the Lights! Camera! Access! “Call-to-Action Summit” held in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA20), and hosted by the Diversity Committee of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 Think Tanks and Summits will bring together advertising, entertainment, interactive, news and broadcast executives with disability-inclusive diversity thought leaders, universities, unions and grass roots organizations for full-day, half-day, or two-hour events (in New York, Hollywood, DC, Boston, Chicago and other major media markets) to build a more sustainable talent pipeline with our strategic partners such as National Disability Mentoring Coalition; PolicyWorks; DisBeat; Deaf Film Camp; Inclusion Films Workshop; Meet the Biz; Easterseals Disability Film Challenge; SignMation; Gallaudet University; City University of NY; NYU Ability Lab; CBS Diversity; Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors; Ruderman Family Foundation; American Association of Advertising Agencies; ReelAbilities Film Festivals; Inclusion in the Arts; Casting Society of America; BBDO; Access Living; NY Women in Film & Television; Disability Community Resource Center; Smart PolicyWorks;  to name a few.

More information about LCA2.0 Collaborative growing list of partners can be found at the “LCA2.0 About Us” portion of the LCA2.0 Website.

LCA 2.0 Partners

EIN SOF Communications, Inc


Tari Hartman Squire

Tari Hartman Squire ‘s EIN SOF Communications is a leading disability/media strategic company creating and producing mutually-beneficial collaborations between Fortune 500 companies, foundations, government agencies and national disability organizations.  Specialties include branding, media, strategic marketing, PR, and employment consultation initiatives that weave sophisticated cause-related, social and/or guerilla marketing with innovative PR strategies to illuminate disability-inclusive diversity across a variety of sectors.

EIN SOF launched “disability strategic marketing” with its My Left Foot campaign – first Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) tie-in with DC Congressional Screening. Squire co-authored Making News: Getting Disability Rights Coverage, advised AP Stylebook on disability-savvy semantics, and co-leads DisBeat initiative linking reporters/screenwriters with authentic disability leaders.

For ADA20, Squire produced Lights! Camera! Access! Summit for U.S. Dept. of Labor, hosted by the Television Academy. Conversant in American Sign Language, Squire co-chaired National Disability Leadership Alliance Employment Team; spearheaded National Spinal Cord Injury’s Business Council; and received Media Access Visionary Award for her 25-year leadership. Squire and former Nielsen NRGi SVP developed the Disability Market Research Initiative to build the business case. It was featured in Adweek & Fortune Small Business and has benefited clients like Apple, AT&T, Bank of America and Universal Home Entertainment.

For ADA25, Squire/Loreen Arbus created Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 (LCA2.0) to increase disability employment, improve portrayals, and enhance accessible entertainment (captions and audio descriptions) across six delivery platforms: TV, movies, advertising, news, theatre and web-based/interactive. LCA2.0 Summits are hosted by The White House; CBS; Caucus of Producers, Writers & Directors; CUNY; NYU;  Northeastern and Gallaudet University with resume review, speed interviews and flash mentoring. In 2018, LCA2.0 Summits expand from DC, Hollywood and NYC to include Boston and Chicago.

EIN SOF clients: Apple; AT&T; BBDO; Bank of America; CBS; Colgate-Palmolive; Fox Searchlight/The Sessions; HP; Honey Maid;/Droga5; HSC Foundation; Kessler Foundation; Kimberly-Clark; Macy’s; Mattel/Toys “R” Us; Microsoft; Mitsubishi Electric American Foundation; Motorola; National Association of the Deaf; National Council on Disability; Nickelodeon/Pelswick; PBS/Lives Worth Living; Prudential; Raytheon; Smithsonian; Sundance Channel/Push Girls; UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Leadership Institute for Managers with Disabilities and Multidimensional Leaders’ Institute; United Spinal Association, U.S. Dept. of Labor; Universal Studios/Ray and World Institute on Disability/JPMorgan Chase Conference Accessibility Initiative.

As a result of casting discrimination during a temporary disability, she and other disabled actors spearheaded SAG’s Performers with Disabilities Committee, and advocated disability inclusion in SAG Collective Bargaining Agreement with the AMPTP, 10 years before ADA. As Founding Executive Director of Media Access Office, she established industry/disability advisory committees, casting clearinghouse, talent showcases, media advocacy, and produced Media Access Awards (started by Norman Lear, Fern Field and Loreen Arbus).

Tari Hartman Squire:EIN SOF Headshot


PolicyWorks mission links perfectly with L.C.A 2.0 – it is to help individuals with disabilities connect to jobs and careers. L.C.A. 2.0 helps us with that goal – focusing on the entertainment sector, including: film, television, interactive gaming and advertising. We bring to L.C.A. 2.0 our workshops on Disclosure and Identification of Personal Value to an Employer. Coming soon – we will be bringing employer-directed training on presentation and other soft skills.


Barbara Butz

Barbara A. Butz is the President of PolicyWorks, Inc. and a Managing Partner in the Capstone Consulting Groups She has 40 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities on employment issues and has provided leadership to employment and training programs for a school system, a community action agency, and a non-profit. She ended her public service career as the Assistant Secretary of Labor and Employment Security for the State of Florida.

Barbara has been working with Lights! Camera! ACCESS for the last three years. She leads workshops on Disclosure and Identifying What You Bring to An Employer. She is working with LCA 2.0 to develop new summit partners and locations and hope to being work on employer focus groups to feed into the Professional Development in Media course for students that attend the Summits.

6217-101313 WPN BARBARA BUTZ_csp_pp

Steve Allen

Steven W. Allen is President of the Capstone Consulting Group, Inc. and is the National Services Coordinator for PolicyWorks, Inc. He also serves as the National Services Coordinator for PolicyWorks and has managed the peer mentoring components for PolicyWorks, beginning with CareerQuest and then later the mentoring component of the successful College to Career Transition Program for Students with Disabilities, (C2C).

Steve is a member of the Summit Organizing team and is instrumental in the design and production of these events.  He an actor himself and an active member of his regional theater group, the Panhandle Players in Northwest Florida.

7636-101313 STEVE ALLEN_csp_pp

The Loreen Arbus Foundation

LA_New Logo

Loreen Arbus

Loreen Arbus is currently President of The Loreen Arbus Foundation, The Goldenson-Arbus Foundation and Loreen Arbus Productions, Inc. Through these organizations and in her personal endeavors, Loreen is a tireless advocate for women and girls; a champion for the world’s largest minority — people with disabilities; and is passionate about encouraging equal opportunities in television, film, communications, and the arts. A high-profile professional and pioneer in media, Loreen holds the trailblazing distinction of being the first woman to head programming for a U.S. network, a feat accomplished twice (both at Showtime and Lifetime). She is a sought-after speaker at national and international conferences. She is also the author of six non-fiction books, has written countless articles for many national publications, and is a member of The Writer’s Guild, The Producer’s Guild and The Author’s Guild. She currently serves on over a dozen non-profit boards and partners with Tari Hartman Squire to create the LCA2.0 Initiative.

Loreen Head Shot 300 DPI


The mission of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) is to increase the awareness, quality, and impact of mentoring for individuals with disabilities across the nation. Member organizations share core values and align with the Coalition’s initiatives to streamline communication, standardize and systematize data collection, reduce duplication of efforts, increase mentoring opportunities, and improve outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities. The signature MDMC initiative is management and oversight of the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame, an annual public nomination, selection and recognition of mentors from all sectors driving disability inclusion through empowering relationships.  To learn more about NDMC and its 55 member organizations, visit


Derek Shields

National Disability Mentoring Coalition

Derek is Co-Chair of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC), which focuses on strengthening the awareness, quality and impact of mentoring for individuals with disabilities. He has lead planning and development efforts that helped NDMC grow to a 55-Member organization leading advocacy efforts and building a national mentoring opportunity pipeline.  For LCA2.0, Derek provides networking and mentoring workshops for mentees and is partnering with Cornell University to build the LCA2.0 Disability in Media Mentoring Opportunity Pipeline.


Derek also provides development support for regional and national mentoring programs and enjoys helping young people network from job search to career satisfaction. At ForwardWorks Consulting, Derek provides disability inclusion training and technical assistance for employers via the Department of Labor’s EARN contract and supports the World Institute on Disability’s Employment and Economic Empowerment Initiative.  He also has worked with the Department of Agriculture’s TARGET Center and the Department of Defense Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program for over 22 years.

Shields Derek Headshot
Picture from August 2017 Susan M Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. On stage with blue curtain behind them stand, from left to right, Rayna Aylward (NDMC Co-Chair), Leo Cantos, Derek Shields (NDMC Co-Chair), Ollie Cantos, Nick Cantos, Jacquelyn Zimmerman (Department of Education), and Steven Cantos. The Cantos gentleman all hold white canes and Leo, Nick and Steven are wearing Boy Scout uniforms. Photo Credit: Joshua Hoover, Department of Education.

Picture from August 2017 Susan M Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. On stage with blue curtain behind them stand, from left to right, Rayna Aylward (NDMC Co-Chair), Leo Cantos, Derek Shields (NDMC Co-Chair), Ollie Cantos, Nick Cantos, Jacquelyn Zimmerman (Department of Education), and Steven Cantos. The Cantos gentleman all hold white canes and Leo, Nick and Steven are wearing Boy Scout uniforms. Photo Credit: Joshua Hoover, Department of Education.

Deaf Film Camp

The Deaf Film Camp is an unique program – it is fully directed
and staffed by skilled filmmakers, editors, and photographers
all of whom are deaf, and where campers have direct access to American
Sign Language. The essential goal of Deaf Film Camp is to offer high quality
instruction and hands on experiences to deaf and mainstream
students ages 13-16. Campers learn the craft of filmmaking,
editing, 3D animation, developing a storyboard, scriptwriting,
product development, and marketing which are
considered  critical 21st century skills. Campers will  be able to deliver a packaged product
that is peer reviewed and and work independently or in
collaboration with others, emphasizing the value of
accountability, teamwork, and communication in the
classroom or wherever they work beyond high school. In
today’s competitive global market, campers must be on top of
media and visual literacy. Finally, essential financial, business,
and marketing skills come into play during the 2-week film
camp. Campers leave the program more confident than ever of
their technical, written, and entrepreneurial skills. Most
importantly, these skills are highly transferable wherever
they go.


Michael Kaufer

Michael Kaufer, Deaf Film Camp Program Director, is a long time educator of Deaf, Hard of Hearing and KODA children over 25 years, teaching ASL and Mathematics in the metro NYC area. He earned his BA in Psychology from Gallaudet University and MA in Deafness Rehabilitation from New York University. He is Director of Deaf Film Camp, a program that focuses on film, photography and animation for deaf children ages 13-16. Currently Mr. Kaufer works at Apple Store in NYC where he provides workshops and training using some of Apple’s software. Since 2015, he has worked closely with Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0, a non profit organization that provides training and resources for people with disabilities to gain employment in the media field.



SIGNmation promotes Deaf Talent, American Sign Language and culturally accessible programming for Film, Television & Performing Arts. Consults for grant funding, festival accessibility, panels and presentation. Produces Accessible & Inclusive live events for film & stage in funding, development & marketing.


Jo-Ann Dean

Jo-Ann Dean, CEO SIGNmation is a Producer of New Media, Open Caption Screenings and American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreted Panels within Film Festivals & Entertainment Industry. SIGNmation Produced Accessible Screenings with Deaf Talent Sony Pictures Baby Driver and Grandma. She is Marketing Director of Maleni Chaitoo’s Don’t Shoot the Messenger! an ASL Comedy WebSeries. NEA Grant Recipient for Boundaries BashFest’16 also federally funded and built ASL Digital Media Studio for Deaf Youth. Dean is a Media Partner of Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 and Consultant on PBS/American Film Showcase Documentary Deaf Jam. Proud Producer ASL Cabaret in Hollywood.


The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge

The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge gives filmmakers – with and without disabilities – the opportunity to collaborate and tell unique stories that showcase disability in its many forms and support Easterseals’ goal to change the way the world defines and views disability, so everyone can reach his or her potential. The 2018 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge will be held from April 13-15, 2018. Learn more and register today at!

EDFC Master

Nic Novicki

Nic Novicki is an actor, comedian and producer who has performed on six continents.

His television credits include: Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, AXS Gotham Comedy Live, Jack and Triumph, The Neighbors, Austin and Alley, Private Practice and Drop Dead Diva. He has appeared in several movies, such as Life Happens, November Rule, The Last 5 Years, Boston Girls and Breaking Wind and will soon be seen in the upcoming Dead Ant.

Nic has produced several feature films, television pilots and web series for companies including Sony, CBS, Air China, Maxim and Universal and is an active member in the Producers Guild of America’s Diversity Committee. Nic wrote for the CBS Diversity Showcase and has also written and directed several short films including A Little Broke, which was acquired by the TV station Shorts HD.

As a stand up comedian, Nic has toured all over the world, including several tours for the troops overseas through Armed Forces Entertainment. He has performed stand up on AXS Gotham Comedy Live.

He is an active Boardmember of Easterseals Southern California, and is the founder and Director of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.




Jd Michaels

EVP Director of Diversity  +  Director of Creative Engineering

BBDO New York

Jd Michaels is currently EVP Director of Diversity and Creative Engineering at BBDO New York.  Production. He and his partner make things for the agency, blending BBDO’s creative ideas with technology, craft, and innovative partnerships with leading science, art, theatre, and construction professionals. And duct tape, usually.

A native of Kansas City, Kansas and graduate of Yale University, Jd has worked for 22 years in the worlds of design and advertising. His team works directly with creative talent to realize and construct award winning artwork, installations, digital tools, and management strategies for the ever more inclusive (and urgent) realities of advertising and marketing communication.

As a Director of BBDO’s Diversity Council, a collective of agency professionals empowered to magnify agency culture as well as engage in community outreach. By lending a voice to client, administrative, and employee priorities, the Council focuses on the uniqueness of the individual person, seeking opportunities to champion and celebrate every employee’s mix of culture, passions, and personality. Their latest program partnered with MARVEL, touring all 5 NYC boroughs with an original comic book about diversity and character, “Avengers: Heroes Welcome”, which is available free on MARVEL’s website and app.

At home, Jd composes for orchestra and entertains / obeys his wife and daughter.



Every day breaking news, and media images on politics, the economy, sexuality, healthcare, natural disasters, race relations and more have a powerful impact on us all, but seldom discuss or articulate the experiences and perspectives of people with disabilities. DisBeat is a national communications initiative which:
1. Convenes issue leaders, subject-matter experts, and other stakeholders to form responses.
2. Develops and helps implement communication strategies.
3. Serves as a trusted source for reporters, journalists, writers, and screenwriters.
4. Expands, frames, and reframed the way disability is discussed.
5. Provides, curates, and creates fact sheets, talking points, resources, white papers, etc.


Marsha Katz

Marsha Katz has been in disability rights advocacy and activism for 40 years. Most recently she retired from the University of Montana Rural Institute where she served as a national expert on SSI and SSDI, a self-employment trainer and facilitator in rural and tribal communities, and a researcher on interpersonal violence and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

During her 15 year tenure at the Rural Institute she also served as Acting Chair and Board Member for a six year term as a U. S. Senate appointment on the federal Social Security Advisory Board.

Prior to working at the University of Montana, Marsha spent 20 years as an advocate and Vice President of the Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy, a local Arc in Michigan. She is the author of “Don’t Look for Logic: An Advocate’s Manual for Negotiating the SSI and SSDI Programs.”

Marsha has been active with ADAPT for 25 years as both an activist and a media specialist. She is also one of the founders of DisBeat.


Emma McElroy

Emma Montana McElroy was born and raised in Berkeley, California where she was introduced and connected to disability rights activism and studies at a young age. She moved to Los Angeles three years ago to pursue higher education. She recently completed her Bachelor’s degree at CSUN, majoring in Therapeutic Recreation & Tourism and minoring in Gerontology, with additional concentrations in Public Health and Administration. She began working as an intern for Tari Hartman Squire in 2015, and has been involved in many projects and collaborations over the last two years including her work with LCA 2.0. Emma currently splits her time working in Administration at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and working with EIN SOF Communications.

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