RespectAbility (Lauren Appelbaum)
RepectAbility Lab for Entertainment Professionals with Disabilities

LAUREN APPELBAUM is the Vice President, Communications at RespectAbility. As an individual with an acquired nonvisible disability – Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy – she writes about the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. From entertainment professionals to presidential campaigns, journalists to philanthropists, she conducts trainings on how to be more inclusive and accessible. In the entertainment industry, Appelbaum engages decision makers and creatives to improve the quality and number of authentic, diverse and inclusive presentations of people with disabilities in TV and film so audiences can see people with disabilities as vital contributors. She and her team have consulted on projects with A&E, Bunim-Murray Productions, NBCUniversal, Netflix and The Walt Disney Company, among others. She also increases hiring initiatives of people with disabilities behind the camera and enriches the pool of disabled talent in Hollywood by connecting them to those who can assist with their careers. Appelbaum authored The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit, which helps entertainment professionals be inclusive of people with disabilities, and created the innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working in development, production and post-production. Following the 2019 pilot, 31 individuals have been accepted into RespectAbility’s second annual Lab for Entertainment Professionals this summer.

RepectAbility Lab for Entertainment Professionals with Disabilities
We bring authentic and diverse portrayals of people with disabilities to the screen by creating a pipeline of diverse professionals with disabilities behind the camera.