Tari Hartman Squire, Founding CEO of EIN SOF Communications, Inc.
Tari Hartman Squire ‘s EIN SOF Communications is a leading disability-focused strategic marketing company, specializing in branding, employment consultation and qualitative market research for public, private and non-profit sector clients. Squire is an Award-winning media, business, marketing and disability strategist.
EIN SOF creates and produces mutually-beneficial, customized, and dynamic collaborations among media entities, Fortune 500 companies, foundations, government agencies as well as national, regional and local disability organizations. The hallmark of EIN SOF’s critically-acclaimed initiatives is weaving sophisticated cause-related, social and/or guerilla marketing into innovative PR initiatives, illuminating disability-inclusive diversity strategies across a variety of sectors, specializing in media.
Clients include: Apple; AT&T; BBDO; Bank of America; California Transition Alliance; CBS; Colgate-Palmolive; DisBeat; Fox Searchlight/The Sessions; HP; Honey Maid;/Droga5; HSC Foundation; HP; Kessler Foundation; Kimberly Clark; Macy’s; Mattel; Microsoft, Mid-Atlantic ADA Center; Mitsubishi Electric American Foundation; Motorola; National Association of the Deaf; National Council on Disability; Nickelodeon/Pelswick; Verizon Media (The Disability Collection with National Disability Leadership Alliance and Getty Images), PBS/Lives Worth Living; Prudential; Raytheon; Smithsonian; Spectrum, 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. Department of Labor; Universal Studios/Ray; WITH Foundation; and World Institute on Disability/JPMorgan Chase Conference Accessibility Initiative.
For the U.S. Department of Labor, for the 20thAnniversary of the ADA (ADA20), Squire produced Lights! Camera! Access! (LCA) Summit hosted by the Television Academy. Objectives of this ongoing LCA media initiative are to increase employment (with regional career exploration summits, workshops, webinars, panels, mentor-mentee talent pipleline, and internships), improve portrayals (via casting and script consultation, DisBeat initiative to link news media with authentic disability leaders and screenwriters, supporting disabled and Deaf filmmakers) and advocate for accessible media with captions and audio descriptions.
Team EIN SOF produces regional LCA Career Exploration Summits in major media markets to empower future media professionals and filmmakers with disabilities, including Boston, Chicago, Hollywood, New York, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, Silicon Beach, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC.
EIN SOF launched “disability strategic marketing” with its award-winning My Left Foot campaign – first promotional tie-in with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that included a DC Congressional Screening and the bold decision to not show the film in movie theatres that were not wheelchair accessible. Since then, entertainment campaigns included The Ses
Squire co-authored Making News: Getting Disability Rights Coverage, advised the AP Stylebook on disability-savvy semantics, and co-leads the DisBeat initiative of the ADA Legacy Project that links reporters/screenwriters to authentic disability leaders.
Squire and Joseph Craig, former Nielsen National Research Group SVP developed the Disability Market Research Initiative to build the business case for disability inclusion. It was featured in Adweek & Fortune Small Business and has benefited clients including Apple, AT&T, Bank of America, McDonald’s, Motorola, Universal Home Entertainment and most recently Verizon Media-National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA)-Getty Images in creation of The Disability Collection to increase realistic images of disability in stock photos. Team EIN SOF conducted focus groups with NDLA and authentic disability leaders to help deconstruct stereotypic images and create a first-ever Guidelines for Photographers. Check out captioned and audio-described video.
For ADA25, Squire and Loreen Arbus reconfigured Lights! Camera! Access! (LCA) to fortify results in six areas of media:
Movies and Documentaries;
Interactive, including Video Games.
LCA three objectives include:
increase disability employment
Improve portrayals; and
Insure accessible entertainment (captions and audio descriptions).
The LCA Career Exploration Summits in major media markets are designed to bring together established and aspiring media professionals in Washington, DC (hosted by The Obama White House and Gallaudet University); Hollywood (hosted by CBS; Caucus of Producers, Writers & Directors; Television Academy and ReelAbilities Film Festival); New York (sponsored by the Kessler Foundation; hosted by BBDO, City University of NY; NYU Ability Lab and ReelAbilities NY); Boston (sponsored by the Ruderman Family Foundation; hosted by Northeastern University and ReelAbilities Boston) and Chicago (hosted by the Chicago Film Office, Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and ReelAbilities Chicago); Sacramento (hosted by Access Sacramento); Silicon Beach (hosted by the Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy & Innovation, and Loyola Marymount); and Silicon Valley (hosted by the Computer History Museum); Baltimore (hosted by Loyola University Maryland); Seattle. Each Summit includes resume reviews, speed interviews, flash mentoring, workshops and panels.
As a result of casting discrimination during a temporary disability, Squire and other disabled actors spearheaded the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Performers with Disabilities Committee, and advocated disability inclusion in the SAG Collective Bargaining Agreement with the AMPTP, 10 years before the ADA. As Founding Executive Director of the Media Access Office, she established industry/disability advisory committees, casting clearinghouse, talent showcases ,technical assistance, script consultation, media advocacy, and produced the Media Access Awards (started by Norman Lear, Fern Field and Loreen Arbus).
Squire is conversant in American Sign Language, co-chaired the National Disability Leadership Alliance Employment Team; spearheaded National Spinal Cord Injury’s Business Council; received the Media Access Visionary Award for her 25-year leadership in creating disability awareness with the entertainment industry; and awards from California State University, Northridge Accessible Technology Conference; Women’s e-News and the Disability Community Resource Center for creation of LCA. She is married to Jason E. Squire, Professor at USC School of Cinematic Arts, Visiting Professor at the Beijing Film Academy, and Editor of The Movie Business Book Fourth Edition (MBB4).
Derek Shields, EIN SOF Project Manager/LCA Leadership Team, President, ForwardWorks Consulting, and Director, National Disability Mentoring Coalition
Derek Shields is President of ForwardWorks Consulting, a Falls Church, VA-based disability inclusion and project management consulting company that collaborates with EIN SOF on Apple; California Transition Alliance; LCA; Spectrum and Verizon Media/Getty Images accounts, providing unique project management skills and expertise. For LCA, he created and moderates the LCA Online Mentoring Circle webinar series designed to provide professional scaffolding to select LCA participants.
A certified Project Management Professional, Shields is experienced in bringing project, schedule, stakeholder, quality, risk, communications and performance management protocols to disability inclusion projects, from large-scale federal government programs to targeted retail endeavors.
With 22 years of experience in disability, accessibility, employment and quality of life programs, he trained hundreds of organizations on disability inclusion strategies, worked with global accommodations and domestic violence programs, wounded warrior transition services, vocational and rehabilitation research projects for Social Security beneficiaries and veterans, and other inclusion initiatives to improve quality of life for youth and adults with disabilities in the workplace, community and home.
Shields has worked with over 15 federal agencies, providing project management support services for contracts ranging from $30K to $15M.
Clients include U.S. Department of Defense Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture TARGET Center, Social Security Administration Ticket to Work Program and a variety of planning, performance management, accessibility, marketing, communications and research projects across the federal sector.
He has developed a network of public and private sector partners, including relationships with the assistive technology industry, vocational rehabilitation, mental health and workforce development systems. He has also developed partnerships with Tribal partners, homeless organizations, disabled veterans and military service organizations to help advance return to work opportunities for adults with disabilities.
Shields supported the design and implementation of the federal-wide Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program model hosted at the U.S. Department of Defense. This centralized program assesses individual needs and provides over 16,000 annual assistive technology devices and services to federal employees and wounded Service members around the world. He was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAP model, the world’s largest centralized accommodation procurement organization.
He is a national trainer/consultant for Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN). In this capacity, he works with employers on identify and implementing business policies and practices to enhance disability employment opportunities. He has trained over 2,500 individuals working for over 500 companies on the Inclusion@Work framework that includes Lead the Way, Build the Pipeline, Hire (and Keep) the Best, Ensure Productivity, Communicate, Be Tech Savvy, and Account.
Shields is Director of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC). NDMC mission is to increase awareness, quality, and impact of mentoring for those 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 NDMC signature initiative is management and oversight of 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. NDMC supports LCA by conducting networking and mentoring workshops.
NDMC is launching the Dinah F.B. Cohen DREAM Fellowship Program to provide inclusive mentoring policy experiences for college students with disabilities. To learn more about NDMC and its 60 member organizations and partners, visit www.disabilitymentors.org.
PolicyWorks: Steve Allen, President and LCA Core Leadership Team
Steven W. Allen is President of the Capstone Consulting Group, Inc. and is the National Services Coordinator for PolicyWorks, Inc. He 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).
Allen is a member of LCA2.0 Core Leadership Team and is instrumental in design and production of the events. He is an actor and an active member of his regional theater group, the Panhandle Players in Northwest Florida.
Joseph Craig, Focus Group Moderator for EIN SOF’s Disability Community Market Research Initiative
Joseph Craig has 20 years of direct experience in entertainment marketing and market research, starting his career at Blockbuster Video before moving on to Paramount Pictures and then for The National Research Group, a division of Nielsen Entertainment, conducting market research for major Hollywood studios. At NRG, Craig recognized an opportunity to expand the company’s clientele, forming NRGi in 2003 to bring market research to independent filmmakers and Broadway producers. In five years at NRGi, he developed countless relationships with theatrical producers, filmmakers and studio heads. Craig left that position to co-partner at Entertainment Research and Marketing (ERm), dividing his time between NY and Los Angeles offices. ERm specializes in market research/marketing consulting for film, Broadway and off-Broadway theatrical productions and other live entertainment and leisure-time attractions.
The company has worked with a wide range of companies in a variety of fields including The Walt Disney Company, Focus Features, Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Warner Brothers, AT&T, EIN SOF Communications, Serino Coyne, Open Road Films, The Weinstein Company, SpotCo, Relativity Media. Craig has presented on a wide variety of subjects, as a keynote speaker at Columbia University, TEDx Broadway, The Broadway Conference, the annual BAA conference, etc.
Craig’s collaboration with EIN SOF developed the “Disability Community Market Research Initiative,” providing focus group insights of national disability organizational leaders to Fortune 100 companies across a variety of sectors, like Apple, AT&T, Motorola, Spectrum and Verizon Media. The Initiative was featured in Fortune Small Business and Adweek magazines.
Jd Michaels: Founding Partner: The michaels.adams. Creative House - LCA Core Leadership Team
26 years of advertising work earned Jd Michaels Titanium Lions, Black Pencils, Gold of many shapes (including three ADCOLOR awards) and the AAF MOSAIC award; but his combined positions as EVP Director of Creative Engineering and EVP Co-Director of Diversity for BBDO New York gave him the chance to combine creativity with social dignity.
He hosted the April 2018 LCA New York, and hired two LCA participants, Storm Smith as an Art Director, and Alec Frazier as a literary agent while publishing Alec’s book “Veni, Vidi, Autism”.
And now, Jd serves as the distinguished-grey half of michaels.adams., a worldwide arts and technology house, where he and Casey Adams head an international collective of creative professionals – combining technology, traditional crafts, fine art, and duct tape to realize innovative art, education, and community service projects.
Their StoriesAboutUs™ Initiative is currently publishing works of fiction from the American Disability community as its first season of works, available on Amazon and soon Audible.
Michael Kaufer, Deaf Film Camp Director LCA Leadership Team
Michael Kaufer, Deaf Film Camp Program Director, is a long time educator of Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Kids of Deaf Adults (KODA) children for over 25 years, teaching ASL and Mathematics in the metropolitan 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 based in upstate New York that focuses on film, photography and animation for Deaf kids ages 13-16. Kaufer also works at an Apple Store in NYC where he provides workshops and training using some of Apple’s software. Since 2015, he collaborates with LCA, providing training and resources for people with disabilities and those who are Deaf to build careers in the media field.
Dominick Evans, Creator of FilmDis EIN SOF Social Media & Disability Engagement LCA Film Clip Editor/Captioner
Dominick Evans is a non-binary trans quip (queer crip) filmmaker, writer, gamer, activist, dad, and nerd. He has a BFA in Film, and studied political science. A former actor and singer, Evans directed the short films trip (2014) and Nance + Sydney (2018), with both a short film and a feature film in development. His films revolve around characters that you might not usually see in film – especially LGBTQIA and Disabled characters.
Evans serves as an LCA flash mentor and has joined forces with EIN SOF for projects with Apple, Verizon Media/Getty Images and the ADA Legacy Project’s DisBeat (authentic disability source for journalists). He joins Team EIN SOF as social media strategist and manager of disability community and intersectionality engagements.
His work primarily focuses on inclusion of Disability in the media. In 2014, he founded #FilmDis, a Twitter chat about Disability in the media. He also has mentored aspiring media professionals with disabilities at the White House. Beyond media, Evans’ activism has expanded into sex education for Disabled/LGBTQIA youth, marriage equality for Disabled people, institutional bias, and LGBTQIA/Disabled reproductive rights.
Evans has presented or been on panels around the world, including New York Comic Con and in Australia. He previously worked at the Center for Disability Rights as a Media & Entertainment advocate. He currently is a freelance consultant, working with organizations on social media strategies, writing, editing, Disability inclusion, intersectionality, media representation, and film/script consulting. Not busy enough, Evans is a part of the ADAPT media team, and serves on the board of the grassroots Disability rights organization, Not Dead Yet.
Joey Travolta, Director/Founder Inclusion Films - LCA Leadership Team
Born into a show business family, Joey began his career as a performer in 1978 as a recording artist with Casablanca Records and starring in the feature film, Sunnyside (1979). Joey has directed and produced over 20 films, including the critically acclaimed Enemies of Laughter (2000). In 2005, Joey produced the documentary Normal People Scare Me, while mentoring a fifteen-year-old boy with autism who directed the film. Inspired by that experience, Joey developed the curriculum for Inclusion Films, a program that has served hundreds of aspiring filmmakers.
Before he made it on the big screen, Joey worked as a special education teacher in New Jersey.
Nic Novicki, Founder/Director of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge and LCA Core Team
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 appeared in several movies, such as Life Happens, November Rule, The Last 5 Years, Boston Girls and Breaking Wind and Dead Ant. Novicki produced several feature films, TV pilots and web series for Sony, CBS, Air China, Maxim and Universal and is an active member in the Producers Guild of America’s Diversity Committee. He wrote for the CBS Diversity Showcase and has also written and directed several short films including A Little Broke, which was acquired by TV station Shorts HD.
As a stand up comedian, Novicki 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, is an active Board member of Easterseals Southern California, and is the founder and Director of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.
Jo-Ann Dean, SIGNmation - LCA National Media Team
Jo-Ann Dean, CEO SIGNmation is a Producer of New Media, Open Caption Screenings and American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreted Panels within film festivals and the entertainment Industry. SIGNmation produced Accessible Screenings with Deaf Talent for Sony Pictures’ Baby Driver and Grandma. She is Marketing Director of Maleni Chaitoo’s Don’t Shoot the Messenger! an ASL Comedy WebSeries. She is a NEA grant recipient for Boundaries BashFest’16 and also federally funded and built ASL Digital Media Studio for Deaf Youth. Dean is Media Partner of LCA 2.0, Consultant on PBS/American Film Showcase Documentary Deaf Jam, and proud Producer of the ASL Cabaret in Hollywood.
Loreen Arbus, President Loreen Arbus Foundation & Loreen Arbus Productions, Co-Producer, LCA
Loreen Arbus is President of Loreen Arbus Productions, Inc., Loreen Arbus Foundation and Goldenson-Arbus Foundation. She is widely recognized as an advocate for women and girls, as well as for the world’s largest minority, people with disabilities. Arbus holds the distinction of being the first woman to head programming for a U.S. network, a feat accomplished twice (Showtime and Cable Health Network/Lifetime). She has been twice nominated for an Emmy. A prolific writer, she is the author of six books and numerous magazine/newspaper articles. She is a member of the Writers Guild, Producers Guild, the Authors Guild, and SAG-AFTRA.
Arbus focuses her philanthropy on women and girls, disability, diversity, media initiatives, medical research, animal rights, the arts and global peace. She has established funds for many scholarships and grants around her philanthropic interests, including filmmakers with disabilities and/or who concentrate on disability-related topics in their films. Arbus’ documentary credits include Executive Producer on A Whole Lott More and Darius Goes West. She is committed to the work initiated by her parents (Isabelle and Leonard H. Goldenson, Founder/Chairman of ABC) who Co-Founded the fifth largest health agency in America that serves people with a wide range of disabilities, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). She has continued their legacy as a disability rights activist. She Co-Founded Media Access Office, which operated in partnership with California Governor’s Committee.
For over 25 years, the organization has interfaced with studios, networks and the creative community to increase employment, improve depiction and raise consciousness regarding disability. She is the Founder/Chair of the annual UCP of NYC Women Who Care Luncheon, a high-profile and continuously sold-out event over the past decade. She serves on over a dozen nonprofit boards, including Women Moving Millions, which is dedicated to mobilizing unprecedented resources for the advancement of women and girls.
Arbus has received The Heart of Giving Award presented by President Bill Clinton in 2001; the Genii Awardfor Lifetime Achievement presented by American Women in Radio & Television; the Power 100 Women In Entertainment presented by The Hollywood Reporter; the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Award presented by Women’s eNews; the Media Access Visionary Award in 2007; and the Distinguished Service Award presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, among many other honors. Gloria Steinem presented her with the Ms. Foundation for Women 2011 Woman of Vision and Action Award. In December, 2006, she was inducted as an honoree into the She Made It: Women Creating Television and Radio collection at the Paley Center for Media. In 2012, she delivered a TEDxWomen talk about overcoming childhood struggles. In 2014, she was honored with the UN’s Woman Pioneer Award. Her speech, focused on disability rights, was seen in over 120 countries on the occasion of Women’s Entrepreneur Day. Arbus is a high profile professional Argentine Tango choreographer and dancer. She lives in New York, Los Angeles, and Buenos Aires.
Emma McElroy Administrative Assistant
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 to pursue higher education and completed her Bachelor’s degree at CSUN, majoring in Therapeutic Recreation & Tourism and minoring in Gerontology, with additional concentrations in Public Health and Administration. McElroy began working as an intern for EIN SOF in 2015, and has been involved in many projects and collaborations including with LCA; Apple; CBS News/DisBeat/LCA Internships; Mid-Atlantic ADA Center; and Verizon Media-NDLA-Getty Images on The Disability Collection. She currently splits her time working in Administration at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and working with EIN SOF Communications.
Allilsa Fernandez, Production Assistant
Barbra Butz – In Memory
Barbara A. Butz was President of PolicyWorks, Inc. and a Managing Partner in Capstone Consulting Group. She had 40 years of experience working with people with disabilities on employment issues and provided leadership to employment and training programs for a school system, community action agency, and a non-profit. She ended her public service career as Assistant Secretary of Labor and Employment Security for the State of Florida.
Butz worked with LCA for four years. She led workshops on Self-Disclosure: Leveraging Your Disability to Sharpen Your Competitive Edge. In addition, she worked with LCA to develop new summit partners and locations and is planned to develop employer focus groups to feed into the Professional Development in Media course for students who attend the Summits, along with developing customized media-focused career exploration webinar modules for LCA participants. Barbara died on November 25, 2019 and we miss her everyday.
Allison Cameron Gray, Production Assistant
Allison Cameron Gray has been a SAG-AFTRA member since 2003, after guest-starring on Family Law. She was born with cerebral palsy. In her teens, she was hired to write a column for Kids on Wheels quarterly magazine. Ask Alli was a children’s version of Dear Abby. She continues to contribute to various magazines such as New Mobility and Action.
At 16, Allison entered the VSA Arts young playwrights contest satirizing the treatment of temporarily able bodied people towards people with different abilities. Her one-act play called Sideshow was awarded an Honorable Mention with excerpts performed at the Kennedy Center. From then on, she has been writing plays and screenplays. She co-wrote and produced along with Matt Chorpenning a stage adaptation of Terry Trueman’s novel Stuck in Neutral.
Interested in describing the ironies of life, she performed stand up comedy in venues such as the Improv, the Comedy Store, and the Ice House. Allison won second place in the Ha Ha Café’s Fresh Faces Comedy Contest. Her love of comedy led to a summer as a production intern for the Emmy and Peabody wining Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
She was awarded Best Actress in the Demetera International Film Festival for starring in Young Adult. The short film was viewed world wide at festivals including, the Cannes International Cinema Festival and PBS Film School Shorts.
In addition, Allison is a public speaker. She is asked to speak annually to Occupational Therapy students at USC as well as to middle school students. Allison has also been a keynote speaker at the Southern California TASH Conference. She earned a Bachelor’s in Social Welfare and Social Justice from Cal State University Northridge.
Ushonda Wilson, Production Assistant
As a filmmaker, producer, director, editor and writer I would be delighted to contribute to your next project. My first role as a production assistant and extra on the cult classic feature film Bring It On gave me the insight of how an authentic production functioned and ignited the flame of my pursuits in the entertainment industry. That opportunity was confirmation that I was in my element. Since then I have had the opportunity to work on numerous film, television and theatrical projects both behind the scenes and in front of the camera.
My experience was enhanced having participated in the ADA Lead On 31st anniversary, which was streamed on Facebook in August 2021. I worked as an editor on several artists videos and was the presenter for the “In Memoriam” segment. I also worked as a project manager for NOD@40 – 40th Anniversary of the National Organization on Disability in 2022. With degrees in both Film & Television Production and a Master’s of Business Administration, I continue to pursue my passion to work in the film and television industry.