Sundance Channel’s PUSH GIRLS


The audacious Sundance Channel docu-series PUSH GIRLS follows the lives of four best friends who are sexy, gorgeous, vivacious women at different stages of live, and oh by the way, they are all wheelchair users.  While creator Gay Rosenthal (LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG WORLD) had successfully nuanced lives of little people, reality television is not known for its reality of real lives particularly those with disabilities, which includes more than those who use wheelchairs.  How can this one show with the usual superficial concerns about reality shows, gain an audience and cross-over appeal of loyal fans, with – and without – a variety of disabilities?

White House agenda for screening/Panel discussion for Push Girls.

White House agenda for screening/Panel discussion for Push Girls.


While the premise PUSH GIRLS followed four women who use wheelchairs, their stories and issues transcended wheelchair users, to all disabilities, and that was illuminated with social media campaign, blogs and panel discussion at the White House screening.


The White House screening was attending by high-ranking government appointees with disabilities, allies from the LGBT community, corporate allies and grass-roots disability leaders.  Post-screening blogs were generated by John Robinson (Our Ability), James Weissman (United Spinal Association) and Gary Karp (Modern Disability), to name a few.

PUSH GIRLS was embraced by the disability community, received glowing reviews by thought leaders, and raised national dialogue on disability and sexuality, intimacy, community-based independent living, career choices, family relationships, parenting.

EIN SOF social media team took the story arc of each Push Girl and created daily Facebook postings and Twitter feeds, driving traffic with disability-savvy messaging that created a cross-over audience, and drove Facebook likes from 2,000 to 50,000.  The show received critical acclaim in both disability and mainstream audiences and was renewed for a second season.

At least one woman who acquired a spinal cord injury during 4th of July weekend 2012, one month after the launch, had a PUSH GIRL frame of reference during her rehab. This new paradigm of “Disability Power & Pride” shattered the traditional myth of people with disabilities as broken and weak. She is a “Push Girl,” as are millions of men, women and children with (and without) disabilities, as they power through life, not internalizing disability myths and lowered expectations, but taking it for the social construct that it is: barriers created at the intersection of the built, electronic and attitudinal environment.

Push Girl Angela Rockwood was also profiled in the DOL What’s Your Connection? disability awareness campaign, click here.

With the push girls cast at a White House screening

White House screening/panel discussion with (first row) Push Girls, moderator Juliette Rizzo; (second row) Creator Gay Rosenthal, Lawrence Carter Long, Squire, Geri Jewell and Sundance executives.


EIN SOF created a customized disability strategic marketing campaign that included social media, disability-savvy language guidelines, tips on creating accessible events and, supporting two major opinion-makers screenings: New York Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and White House Office of Public Engagement.

EIN SOF supported The White House Office of Public Engagement by recommending moderator Juliette Rizzo, a dynamic motivational speaker and former Miss Wheelchair America, who illuminated disability policy issues that were hinted at in the program.  The Q&A after the screening of two captioned and audio-described episodes included the Push Girls as panelists, along with Lawrence Carter-Long, who offered framing of disability media, and performer Geri Jewell, the first performer with a disability to have a recurring role in a Primetime television series (“Cousin Geri” in the Facts of Life).