In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a special virtual program titled “ACCESSABILITY/VISABILITY: Breaking Down the Barriers for People with Disabilities in Media,” featuring conversations with filmmakers with disabilities examining the struggles and successes of the disabled community in Hollywood.  With a welcome by Academy governor and Oscar®-winning actor Whoopi Goldberg and hosted by Oscar-winning actor Marlee Matlin, the three-panel event will be available on beginning October 26 at 5 p.m.

Panels for this virtual program about breaking down barriers for filmmakers with disabilities, in order of presentation, follow:

Authentic Representation: Why It Matters and How Far We Have Come
Representation of people with disabilities in Hollywood, how it has evolved, and what future progress still needs to be made.  With actor Danny Woodburn, actor and comedian Maysoon Zayid and talent manager Eryn Brown.

Behind the Camera: Why Inclusion Benefits Us All
The importance of inclusion in front of and behind the camera.  With filmmakers Jenni Gold and Jim LeBrecht and VFX supervisor Kaitlyn Yang.

Fresh Voices: Hollywood’s Untapped Talent and Unlimited Potential
The future of representation both in front of and behind the camera.  With animation director Jorge Gutierrez and actors Millicent Simmonds and Zack Gottsagen.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 10,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, opening April 30, 2021.


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Andrea Karen Hammer is the founder, director and owner of Artsphoria Publishing, Media Group & Shop ( Artsphoria Event Advertising & Reporting (; Artsphoria International Magazine (; Artsphoria: Arts, Business & Technology Center (; Artsphoria Movie Reviews & Film Forum (; Artsphoria: Food for the Soul (; Artsphoria's Animation & Imagination World ( and Artsphoria Shop ( She is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer who has published articles in international publications.