The purpose of the Media Access Office is to actively promote the employment and accurate portrayal of persons with disabilities in all areas of the media and entertainment industry, ensuring that the industry recognizes people with disabilities as part of cultural diversity.
The Media Access Office was established in 1980 by the California Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, and entertainment and media industry professionals. They recognized the need to provide a liaison between performers with disabilities and the media and entertainment industry. The Media Access Office is currently administered with assistance from the State Employment Development Department and is guided by a Subcommittee comprised of professionals representing all facets of the entertainment and media industry. The office is also supported in part by the Friends of the California Governor's Committee on Employment of People With Disabilities, Inc., a private, non-profit (501) c(3) organization.
SERVICES AND PROGRAMS
The office serves as a liaison for casting directors looking for actors with disabilities. Talent files include actors with visible and non-visible disabilities, union and non-union members, and performers with and without agent representation. Although the office has historically been unable to receive the industry Breakdown service, more and more casting professionals are aware of the Media Access Office and call directly with their casting needs. The office submits head shots and resumes, and offers advice on accessibility and special services.
The office offers a variety of services to both new and seasoned actors. Some of these services include: individual career development, reviewing and setting career goals and objectives, industry referrals, acting workshops, business of the business classes, low cost head shot sessions, resume clinics, and young performer and parent seminars.
The office provides on-going support for their clients with disabilities. Staff attend local professional talent guild committee meetings and maintain relationships with the union representatives. They educate talent agents on how best to represent their clients with disabilities. In addition, they will advise on a young performer's Individual Education Program (IEP), focusing on vocational skills in the dramatic arts. Staff also provide information to Regional Center counselors and rehabilitation counselors and advisors on industry employment and education.
Project Development and Production Information
The office is available to answer questions relating to disability issues, current trends and political correctness, period piece information, questions pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and referrals to additional organizations, products and services. In addition, the office can provide referrals of industry professionals to serve as technical advisors and disability coordinators.
The office is available to provide technical assistance, and for public speaking engagements to both industry professionals and to the disability community on a variety of subjects.
Media Access Awards
Since 1978 the California Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities has been honoring the media and entertainment industries with the Media Access Awards. Recipients are honored for their efforts in promoting: Awareness of the Disability Experience, Accurate Character Portrayals, Innovative Themes, Accessibility, Increased Employment in the Industry, Non-Traditional Casting, and Depiction of the Diverse American Scene.
Contact either of our offices at the addresses/phone numbers below for additional information:
Friends of Californians With Disabilities, Inc. is a private non-profit 501 c (3) corporation, employer. Tax ID # 68-0239433
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