Entertainment That’s Helping Society Gain New Perspective on Disability


Easterseals CEO Randy Rutta and TV producer Jonathan Murray.

I’m pleased to co-author a piece today, on the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, with award-winning television producer and friend of Easterseals, Jonathan Murray. Jon is credited with inventing the modern reality television genre. His critically acclaimed series, Born This Way, returns for a second season tonight on A & E. Read the post in its entirety on my Huffington Post blog.

This is the true story of seven friends, navigating the typical trials and tribulations of young adulthood—from first kisses and signing a lease to landing that big job. They also happen to have Down syndrome.

And they’re thriving. They’re leaving their childhood homes, holding jobs, starting families and living their best lives. This isn’t radical thinking. It isn’t inspiring. It’s just reality.

friends laughing

The second season of “Born This Way” starts tonight on A and E.

And it’s a reality 1 in 5 people in our communities are living. Although disability is a normal part of life—touching us all at some point—there’s a significant need for stories that amplify the voices of this population. Not just to reflect the diverse society we live in, but to also promote social change

For example, many people in the disability community want and are capable of jobs and independence. Yet, the unemployment rate among Americans with disabilities is nearly twice that of people without disabilities. The disability community is an untapped resource for businesses looking for skills-based, work-ready employees. Can the entertainment industry help society get past the stigma and gain a new perspective about people with disabilities and their potential? Read more…



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