The RespectAbility Guide to Inclusion in the Entertainment Industry

While one-in-five people have a disability, fewer than two percent of scripted television characters (15 people) have disabilities. And most are played by actors without disabilities.

With Hollywood striving to boost diversity and inclusion, opening the inclusion umbrella for America’s largest minority – the one-in-five Americans with a disability – is the right thing to do as well as economically smart given that the disability market is valued at more than $1 trillion. The success of films like Black Panther, Wonder Woman, and Coco prove that diversity wins. According to Nielsen Research, consumers with disabilities represent a $1 billion market segment. When you include their families, friends, and associates, that total expands to more than $1 trillion. Americans with disabilities represent the third largest market behind Baby Boomers and the mature market. 1.2 billion people on earth have a disability.

However, storytellers often make glaring, yet easy to avoid, errors when covering our community. This guide was created to help entertainment professionals who wish to ensure they are as inclusive of people with disabilities as possible. Available as a PDF or accessible Word document it is divided into sections including best practices, appropriate terminology, common acronyms and their meaning, and etiquette for interacting with people with disabilities. You can even learn more about specific disabilities that run the gamut from amputees to Dwarfism. Specific information is available about what qualifies as a disability, person first language, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Mostly it tries to get across the belief that people with disabilities are not less human, less valuable, and less capable than others. Easy to navigate, you can zero in on what is most important to you.

You can view the entire guide at

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