EIN SOF and Loreen Arbus created the LCA Collaborative with three objectives:
Increase employment of people with disabilities in front of, and behind the camera/keyboard;
Improve disability portrayals and reduce stigma;
Integrate access to media with captions and audio descriptions.
The LCA Collaborative is a collection of multi-dimensional initiatives that weaves and braids established traditional and digital media entities (networks, studios, industry associations, unions, production, internet and cable content creator and providers) with authentic disability and diversity leaders, organizations, film festivals, veterans, accelerated high school and college students, recent graduates and transitioning youth. This combination results in a dynamic disability-inclusive diversity commUNITY.
LCA creates interconnected strategies and tactics to accomplish our three objectives, including:
Regional LCA Career Exploration Summits are designed for two target audiences: media employers seeking qualified and creative prospective employees and collaborators; mentors in search of mentees with disabilities; and participants who are aspiring media professionals with disabilities or who are Deaf.
Summits are produced in major media markets like New York, Hollywood, Washington, DC, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, San Diego, Silicon Valley, and Sacramento. 2021 expansion includes Orlando, Minneapolis and Atlanta.
LCA NYC April 1, 2020
sponsored by Kessler Foundation; hosted by ReelAbilities Film Festival
LCA San Diego for Veterans with disabilities June 7, 2020
hosted by Options for All and San Diego State University’s Interwork Institute;
LCA Baltimore, Boston, Hollywood, Sacramento and Seattle
Coming Fall 2020 [check back for more details].
Lights! Camera! Access! Online Mentoring Circles
In collaboration with the National Disability Mentoring Coalition, we have developed LCA Online Mentoring Circles to provide “professional scaffolding” for select LCA participants. This program is being piloting with the California Department of Rehabilitation to reach a larger online virtual audience nationwide and to provide “master classes” focused on career exploration and advancement in all forms of media – television, movies, documentaries, advertising, news, theatre and interactive, including video games.
Lights! Camera! Access! Online Member Gallery
In collaboration with michaels.adams. a worldwide arts and community initiative collective, LCA will premiere its Online Member Gallery; a dynamic showcase to spotlight the emerging talents of our community. These “Living Portfolios’ of LCA participants across the country will double as a peer mentoring focus as well as a destination for media employers seeking to hire aspiring professionals with disabilities. The Gallery will debut in Fall of 2020.
Participating in LCA
Promotion of the Regional Summits is through email, social media and word-of-mouth to disability, arts, diversity and media organizations; colleges and universities; departments of rehabilitation; veteran serving organizations. Prospective participants are asked to complete a brief online application that includes a personal statement, requests for accessibility accommodations and to upload a resume. The LCA core leadership team then reviews all of the applications to determine who is accepted into the Summit.
The LCA Career Exploration Summits are specifically designed with interconnected and interactive career entry and trajectory “employment mapping” activities to empower current and aspiring media professionals with disabilities so that civilians and veterans can explore and develop careers in the media – television, movies, documentaries, advertising, news, theatre and interactive, including video games.
The hallmark components of each LCA Career Exploration Summit includes:
1. How to Make it in the Media panel discussion with established media professionals with (and without) disabilities;
2. One-on-one Resume review, speed interviewing and flash mentoring with media companies, and mentors with disabilities;
3. No One Taught Me How to Network workshop, created and facilitated by Derek Shields, Director of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition;
4. Self-Disclosure: How to Leverage Your Disability to Sharpen Your Competitive Edge workshop, created by Barbara Butz and Steve Allen; facilitated by Steve Allen, President of PolicyWorks;
5. Viewing of LCA partner film clips, and/or live performances by performers with disabilities, including music and dance.
In addition to the regional Summits, workshops and panels, in 2019 LCA piloted the LCA Online Mentoring Circle as a pilot program with the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR).
A Selection of LCA Highlights:
August 14, 2018 — Disability Matters internet radio show with Joyce Bender
BBDO’s Jd Michaels and Autistic Reality’s Alec Frazier and Tari Hartman Squire joined Joyce Bender to talk about LCA2.0, mentoring and media career opportunities for people with disabilities, including Alec meeting his mentor Jd at LCA2.0, BBDO’s Stories About Us Literary Campaign and Alec’s new book Veni, Vidi, Autism
Media Employers and Mentors included:
Leo Burnett: Michelle Bolanowski, Director of Recruiting
Leo Burnett: Jim Genell, Creative Director
BBDO: Jd Michaels, EVP Diversity and Creative Engineering
AT&T: Denise Werner, Corporate Accessibility Technology Office
AT&T: David Schuringa, Principle Program Manager, AT&T Technology Development
USC School of Cinematic Arts/Movie Business Book: Jason E. Squire
The Wheelchair Chronicles: Justin Cooper
Sliding Board Productions: Bob Ness
ReelAbilities Film Festival Chicago: Reveca Torres, Grishma Shah and Matt Lauterbach
Deaf Film Camp: Charmaine Hlibok and Crom Saunders
Disability:IN: Becky Curran, DEI Manager/Disability Media Consult. Anna Pakman
Mike Larks, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant
Media Mentors and Employers included:
Day Al-Mohamed, Filmmaker and Lead On Network
Jo-Ann Dean, SIGNmation
Alec Frazier, Autistic Reality
Xian Horn, Give Beauty Wings
Michael Kaufer, Deaf Film Camp
Jennifer Kavanagh, JK Media
Marty Klein, Why Can’t We Serve
Gloria Lin, American Association of Advertising Agencies
Barbara Matos, CBS Corporation Diversity
Sarah Melone, Inclusion Films
Jd Michaels, BBDO NY
Disability Rights Singer/Songwriter Johnny Crescendo
Storm Smith, BBDO and Deaf Film Camp
Lori Sokol, Women’s eNews
Nicole Turon-Diaz, Inclusion Films
David Zimmerman, Meet the Biz
Michael Kaufer, Deaf Film Camp
The closing segment included a command performance by disability rights activist, singer/songwriter Johnny Crescendo who sang Pride and Choices & Rights, and clips were shown from Deaf Film Camp, Inclusion Films Workshop and Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, along with birthday cupcakes for Tari and Poppin Joe’s delicious popcorn.
We look forward to LCA2.0 returning to NYC next year to coincide with ReelAbilities Film Festival in April 2019. Check back for more details and application instructions.
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 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.
Results: CBS leads in employment with 11 series and pilots that hired performers with disabilities across the network, while 61% of Fox’s dramas (14 out of 23) and 69% of its comedies (nine of 13) auditioned performers with disabilities for the 2017-2018 pilot and current TV seasons. Check out coverage in Deadline Hollywood.
Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, EVP, Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion and Communications, CBS Entertainment
Catrice Monson, SVP, Diversity and Inclusion, CBS Corporate
Whitney Davis, Manager, Entertainment Diversity, CBS Entertainment
Fern Orenstein, SVP, Talent & Casting, CBS Entertainment
Lucy Cavallo, SVP, Talent & Casting, CBS Entertainment
Dorey Poder, Director, Talent & Casting, CBS Entertainment
Alice Mayer, Director, Human Resources, CBS
Huma Javed, Director, Human Resources, CBS
SAG-AFTRA Performers with Disabilities Committee Chair Danny Woodburn who also authored the Ruderman White Paper on the Employment of Actors with Disabilities moderated a lively panel discussion with:
DJ Kurs, Artistic Director, Deaf West Theatre
James LeBrecht, Berkeley Sound Artists
Gail Williamson, Diversity, KRM Talent Agency
David Renaud, staff writer for Pure Genius
In addition, RJ Mitte from Breaking Bad also served as a mentor for participants, along with members of the Writers Guild of America Committee of Writers with Disabilities. The Television Academy covered the dynamic event in its Taking Action video series. Check it out – click here.
Back by popular demand
In Spring 2019, the Caucus will produce another LCA2.0 industry panel – check back for details.
LCA 2.0 Core Leadership Team Partners and Collaborators:
National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC)
Deaf Film Camp
Inclusion Films Workshop
The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge
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.
As with all LCA2.0 Career Exploration Summits, 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
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.
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, mentoring and mentee opportunities, click here.
In honor of the 28thAnniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA28) the Los Angeles-based Disability Community Resource Center (DCRC) awarded LCA2.0 the prestigious Douglas A. Martin Award of Excellent.
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 Loreen and Tari’s CGI Commitment to Action captioned video in sign language, click here.
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 Powercommercial 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 Story; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Breaking Bad; Push Girls, NCIS: New Orleans, The Bold and the Beautiful, 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.
LCA2.0 Back Story:
LCA2.0 has its roots in the Television Academy’s Diversity Committee when, eight years ago, EIN SOF produced the original Lights! Camera! Access! “Call-to-Action” Summit for the U.S. Department of Labor, with former Secretary Hilda Solis and former Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez in attendance who issued soft challenges to the entertainment industry to increase employment and improve portrayals. LCA has its roots in the success of the Media Access Awards (started by Norman Lear, Fern Field and Loreen Arbus in 1978) and the Media Access Office (Tari Hartman Squire was Founding Executive Director who established its signature programs like the Official Casting Clearinghouse for Performers with Disabilities; Talent Showcases; Technical Assistance, Script Consultation and Media Advocacy.
Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 Think Tanks and Career Exploration 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.
The LCA2.0 Collaborative includes EIN SOF Communications, The Loreen Arbus Foundation, ADA Legacy Project’s DisBeat, AT&T, Able Artists Foundation, Access Living, Alpha Studios, American Association of Advertising Agencies, Angell Foundation, Autistic Reality, BBDO, CBS, Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors, Chicago Film Office, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, CUNY Coalition of Students with Disabilities, CUNY LEADS, Deaf Film Camp, Disability Community Resource Center, Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, FilmDis, ForwardWorks, Gallaudet University, Great Lakes ADA Center, IL Department of Human Services, Inclusion Film Camp, Institute for Community Inclusion (at UMass Boston), Kessler Foundation, Leo Burnett, Meet the Biz, MA Cultural Council, National Disability Mentoring Coalition, National Technical Institute of the Deaf, No Limits Media, Northeastern University, NY Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, NY Women in Film & Television, Partners for Youth with Disabilities, PolicyWorks, Poses Foundation, ReelAbilities Film Festivals (Boston, Chicago, Hollywood and New York), Ruderman Family Foundation, SignMation, Sliding Board Productions, Smart Policy Works, UMassBoston, Wheelchair Chronicles, WGBH National Center for Accessible Media, and others.
We welcome you to join the growing LCA2.0 Collaborative.