June 20, 2022

Disability and Inclusion in the Entertainment Industry with Jake Linn

Disability and Inclusion in the Entertainment Industry with Jake Linn

Our guest today is disability advocate Jake Linn, who launched the Disability in Hollywood initiative to bring awareness to the inequities in Hollywood surrounding people in the entertainment industry with disabilities. Jake talks with Mai Ling about...


Our guest today is disability advocate Jake Linn, who launched the Disability in Hollywood initiative to bring awareness to the inequities in Hollywood surrounding people in the entertainment industry with disabilities. Jake talks with Mai Ling about how he got started with the project, the issues he and his team are addressing, and some of his personal experiences. He is passionate about raising awareness and changing the culture of Hollywood to one that embraces people with disabilities.

Contact Mai Ling: MLC at mailingchan.com

Contact Martyn: Martyn at martynsibley.com

 

Transcript

0
00:00:00.940 --> 00:00:04.560
Jillian Mercado who is on the Albert, I believe.

1
00:00:04.940 --> 00:00:08.700
She said disability is a club that anyone can join at any time.

2
00:00:08.710 --> 00:00:16.200
Then she went on and she said, you know, you could be old, you could be dead, even if you're dead on your deathbed, you could have a disability that counts.

3
00:00:16.200 --> 00:00:22.760
It's like, yeah, that's true.

4
00:00:23.140 --> 00:00:25.580
You're listening to the Exceptional Leaders podcast.

5
00:00:25.590 --> 00:00:34.470
Each week we give you a front row seat to our conversations with new and successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, making an impact in the special education and disability communities.

6
00:00:34.520 --> 00:00:40.210
They share their intimate experiences so you can start grow and expand your impact.

7
00:00:40.220 --> 00:00:46.070
I'm mailing at mailing chan dot com and I'm James burgess of slp transitions dot com.

8
00:00:46.080 --> 00:01:14.160
And today meling, we are going to be chatting about jake lin and his work spotlighting the disability community in Hollywood and Inequities in the entertainment industry and in this episode you're going to expand your awareness of how people with disabilities are marginalized and he gives us resources like his sight disability in Hollywood, which helps support and change the dialogue around diversity and inclusion in Hollywood, which is so important.

9
00:01:14.640 --> 00:01:18.090
Oh, I loved wrapping back and getting time with jake.

10
00:01:18.100 --> 00:01:43.090
He's been been doing what he's doing for a number of years now actually, I think he said on the, on the interview, like two years to get to the point where they are to be able to launch these um these sections that he's gonna be doing each month and I was so impressed with him when we first met two years ago, he was a student and now he's in his master's program, still a student, but definitely more more wise and aged as we all are.

11
00:01:43.100 --> 00:01:52.760
But it was just one of those fantastic um connections and I'm so glad to have him back on and be able to share his progress and success at this point.

12
00:01:52.770 --> 00:01:54.650
What did you think of the interview James?

13
00:01:55.140 --> 00:02:05.700
Well I loved it and a couple things stood out to me, mailing one is that you mentioned he's just a student and I think you said he, he didn't even study anything related to disability studies.

14
00:02:05.710 --> 00:02:16.460
So this is really just something he's doing with his own fruition in his own time and he's reaching out to people in Hollywood, which I've tried to reach out to publicists and I didn't get an email back.

15
00:02:16.540 --> 00:02:21.530
So I'm curious did he mention how he even started getting that ball rolling?

16
00:02:21.540 --> 00:02:33.010
Because he said once he got one person then it kind of snowballed and you know, it's the power of networking and compounding where he had one person in Hollywood for an interview, then they introduced him to someone else.

17
00:02:33.020 --> 00:02:34.630
And it takes off from there.

18
00:02:34.640 --> 00:02:36.910
That's exactly it, you're exactly right.

19
00:02:36.920 --> 00:02:46.960
And when he started, he only knew one or two people and I was referred to him through somebody else and I gave him a number of people and I have to say, especially for our listener.

20
00:02:47.440 --> 00:02:51.890
The power of networking is it just defies reason just want you to know.

21
00:02:51.900 --> 00:02:54.800
Um, you don't want to always be reaching out to people when you need something.

22
00:02:54.800 --> 00:02:57.080
So it's always great to connect with people when you don't.

23
00:02:57.080 --> 00:03:08.430
So if you have social avenues that you can meet people, if you have projects that you work on, that you can meet people that are outside of your bubble, I always say this James, you know, get out of your fish bowl for me.

24
00:03:08.430 --> 00:03:10.060
It's the speech therapy fish bowl.

25
00:03:10.240 --> 00:03:19.880
So um, I was able to connect him with people who were, you know, movers and shakers in this area that I was blessed to know because I had met through other channels.

26
00:03:19.890 --> 00:03:30.660
Um, and so he even mentioned that that, you know the cup that I think it was maybe three good referrals that I gave him really gave him a starting point as well as someone else who had done that.

27
00:03:30.660 --> 00:03:48.290
And so just from two or three people, you know, knowing the right two or three people that opened up the doors for him and he, he said he and his team went into meeting people and getting stories that they had no earlier plan for, like they had no idea where this was really going to be going.

28
00:03:48.290 --> 00:03:49.860
And it turned out to be amazing.

29
00:03:50.440 --> 00:03:51.260
That's so great.

30
00:03:51.270 --> 00:03:53.830
But I should have known you were the great connector mailing.

31
00:03:53.840 --> 00:03:57.850
I feel like you're in the center of the web of different people.

32
00:03:57.850 --> 00:04:14.780
So I mean that that's great though and especially the fact that it's a good cause highlighting disability and feeling that inclusivity, you know, it's really like what we see on the screen shapes our our feeling and how we show up in the world.

33
00:04:14.790 --> 00:04:29.860
You know, if I don't see myself represented, then I feel like I'm left out of the conversation and so what he's doing is highlighting different stories from actors, directors all across the board and showing how diversity matters.

34
00:04:30.440 --> 00:05:07.460
And not only does it shape our perception of ourselves, but I kind of went down a rabbit hole from this interview mailing looking up how Hollywood has changed legislation to for example, he mentions jake mentions the movie boy erased, which is a really good movie about sad but poignant movie about conversion therapy and how when that movie came out, it showed the story of someone who was marginalized and changed the conversation, but also I believe laws around gay conversion therapy camps, which is it was a horrible thing that people had to go through.

35
00:05:08.250 --> 00:05:22.760
And then I found other examples, like even back in 1948, there was a movie called the snake pit, which I didn't know this, but it was a movie that depicted how people with mental illnesses were treated in mental institutions.

36
00:05:23.140 --> 00:05:30.980
And after that movie came out, it caused 27 states to change legislation around living conditions in these institutions.

37
00:05:30.990 --> 00:05:42.930
So really the power of to me is like filmmaking and showing these stories is not only shaping how you feel as an individual, but it can stir the collective conversation and actually stir legislation.

38
00:05:42.930 --> 00:05:48.510
So, absolutely, that's very cool, yep, that's what I love about what Jake and his team are doing.

39
00:05:48.510 --> 00:05:59.990
And again, you know, they're in, they're young, they're students in school and they have a fresh approach to it and if our audience gets a chance, I really hope that you get the opportunity to go to their site and follow what they're doing.

40
00:06:00.000 --> 00:06:01.750
Just real groundbreaking stuff.

41
00:06:02.140 --> 00:06:02.430
Yeah.

42
00:06:02.440 --> 00:06:07.320
So that's disability in Hollywood on all the social handles for Jake's work.

43
00:06:07.330 --> 00:06:25.420
And then I also did want to quickly mention on the same note, I found something called the disability film challenge which was put on by easter seals And that is 75 films made and acted by people with disabilities submitted and they collaborated with Sony Studios.

44
00:06:25.430 --> 00:06:35.980
And I think a lot of these people who put on these independent films ended up getting acting roles after they were in the, in this independent film studio.

45
00:06:35.980 --> 00:06:37.560
So it's just really cool.

46
00:06:37.560 --> 00:06:44.060
There's all these different initiatives to get people with disabilities in film in tv and behind the camera as well.

47
00:06:44.440 --> 00:06:45.140
Absolutely.

48
00:06:45.150 --> 00:06:48.140
And I have to put my little claim to flame in there.

49
00:06:48.150 --> 00:06:53.100
I did interview the founder of the disability film challenge Nic Novicki.

50
00:06:53.110 --> 00:07:00.310
So if you want to go back, it was, I think it was two years ago now and I had him on and that's when this was just starting to take off.

51
00:07:00.320 --> 00:07:03.010
It does launch every year in the spring.

52
00:07:03.010 --> 00:07:10.190
And so if you want to be involved, you just have to have one person on your team who has a disability who is helping you to create this film.

53
00:07:10.200 --> 00:07:20.300
And then there are other metrics that they have, but you should probably be looking like now if you want to start putting your team together and then submitting and then the actual awards happen in the spring.

54
00:07:20.300 --> 00:07:21.800
So fantastic.

55
00:07:21.800 --> 00:07:24.640
James, I love, love, love the space that we're in.

56
00:07:24.640 --> 00:07:27.900
I know anything else going on mailing.

57
00:07:27.900 --> 00:07:36.890
I know you are feeling better I think Yes, oh my gosh, so I got and I got it organically.

58
00:07:36.890 --> 00:07:44.960
It was after my amazing birthday party celebration came back and two days later I was down and it it this was a tough one for me.

59
00:07:44.970 --> 00:07:47.020
This is the first time I had gotten an organically.

60
00:07:47.020 --> 00:07:50.100
It started out like a cold seems so much better now.

61
00:07:50.100 --> 00:07:56.130
But oh my gosh, it was a good two weeks of just really being sick, which I'm not used to.

62
00:07:56.140 --> 00:08:05.330
So I apologize at the beginning of this interview with jake that I do sound like I have a cold but I didn't want to miss the timing of this.

63
00:08:05.330 --> 00:08:09.960
So for our our listener, I apologize to you, I hope it's not too hard on the ears.

64
00:08:10.440 --> 00:08:11.830
I listened to it.

65
00:08:11.830 --> 00:08:13.050
I didn't think it sounded too bad.

66
00:08:13.050 --> 00:08:14.250
We'll let the audience decide.

67
00:08:14.250 --> 00:08:15.130
We'll do a poll.

68
00:08:15.140 --> 00:08:30.760
No and I apologize if I sound too relaxed because I just came back from vacation from Mexico from Mexico, went to Sayulita which is a small beach town and it was really nice.

69
00:08:30.770 --> 00:08:45.590
I just went for pretty impromptu and the first time I've traveled internationally really, even though it's only what a two hour plane ride, not a huge plane ride, but did a lot of surfing unplugged a little bit and came back with a tan and a sunburn.

70
00:08:45.600 --> 00:08:47.400
Somehow both.

71
00:08:47.410 --> 00:08:51.560
Oh you got your vitamin D.

72
00:08:51.560 --> 00:08:52.060
Right?

73
00:08:52.340 --> 00:08:53.300
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

74
00:08:53.310 --> 00:08:57.900
That hopefully will help my immunity or at least my happy chemicals in my brain.

75
00:08:57.900 --> 00:09:00.360
So definitely feeling that excellent.

76
00:09:00.740 --> 00:09:03.840
Besides that, that's about all I have going on.

77
00:09:03.850 --> 00:09:17.550
But I encourage everyone to follow us on social media if you want to learn more about what's going on in our episodes at Exceptional Leaders on instagram on the website, exceptional Leaders dot com.

78
00:09:17.550 --> 00:09:23.550
We'd love to hear your ideas and give us a like share the episode rating all that jazz.

79
00:09:23.560 --> 00:09:29.090
It helps us out a lot and we want to hear what you think because it's it gets lonely just talking on zoom.

80
00:09:29.100 --> 00:09:32.680
So we would love to continue the conversation in another format.

81
00:09:32.690 --> 00:09:36.060
Even if you have a referral for a guest that you think we should interview.

82
00:09:36.540 --> 00:09:38.860
That'd be great, yep, love it.

83
00:09:38.870 --> 00:09:39.720
Thanks so much.

84
00:09:39.720 --> 00:09:41.890
Follow us and we hope you enjoy the show.

85
00:09:41.900 --> 00:09:43.460
All right, let's get to it.

86
00:09:47.340 --> 00:09:51.520
Okay, well, today's interview is very interesting for you, the listener.

87
00:09:51.520 --> 00:10:06.810
I'm going to be apologizing first hand because I feel like I'm a little nasally today, I've been fighting what I thought was a cold and strep throat and just found out that its covid, but I did not want to miss recording with our guest today, jake lin.

88
00:10:06.820 --> 00:10:18.820
Um he has been very busy, he's been a busy little guy here and I want to capture him in the moment um and I wanted you to be able to hear where he is at in his amazing journey, so please welcome Jake Lynn.

89
00:10:18.820 --> 00:10:34.050
He's an undergrad at the Art Institute of Chicago which actually has claim to fame there, as was seen in ferris Bueller's Day off, he's currently going through his masters degree at CSU sacramento and Jake reached out to me a couple of months ago.

90
00:10:34.060 --> 00:10:36.430
No, I want to say last year, jake, help me out here.

91
00:10:36.430 --> 00:10:37.370
How long ago was it?

92
00:10:37.380 --> 00:10:40.330
I think it was probably last year, I've been doing this for 2.5 years.

93
00:10:40.340 --> 00:10:52.360
Oh my God, that's right, it's been a while, it's been a while and he's just one of those people that I got the email and I was like, oh, this is really interesting and so I've been involved in a project with him.

94
00:10:52.640 --> 00:11:02.310
It's coming to fruition now and I thought this would be a great time to introduce him to you as the audience so that you can hear what he's up to and also help to promote him and his team.

95
00:11:02.310 --> 00:11:08.580
So jake um usually I give a much better intro on what you're doing, but I think you'd be the best person to share.

96
00:11:08.590 --> 00:11:09.170
Yeah.

97
00:11:09.180 --> 00:11:09.860
Hi everybody.

98
00:11:09.860 --> 00:11:12.880
My name is Jake, jake from State Farm.

99
00:11:12.890 --> 00:11:21.280
It's a hard name to remember and essentially I'm conduct initiative that actually was in, it's called disability in Hollywood.

100
00:11:21.280 --> 00:11:33.760
And disability in Hollywood is an awareness campaign where we're sharing interviews with prominent disabled folks in the entertainment industry and they're discussing their stories, their experiences and recommendations for change.

101
00:11:33.770 --> 00:11:38.960
Wow, okay, so you were a student when you had this idea, You're saying that started two years ago.

102
00:11:38.970 --> 00:11:40.560
What prompted this?

103
00:11:40.840 --> 00:11:46.740
I feel like when a student for what now, 17, 18 years, it's never what prompted this?

104
00:11:46.750 --> 00:12:00.730
Well, I was an intern at american Association of people with disabilities was just a nationwide organization advocating for equity and rights for people with disabilities and I was accepted to their internship, which wow.

105
00:12:00.740 --> 00:12:02.080
Did not expect.

106
00:12:02.090 --> 00:12:04.040
Congratulations with a Q.

107
00:12:04.040 --> 00:12:05.610
And that was with two other people.

108
00:12:05.610 --> 00:12:27.260
Surely cardio and Courtney Felli and we came together had to do a final project and we were thinking what's super similar that we're all interested in and it was media representation for people with disabilities because we have, we all have our own experiences of how that has negatively impacted our lives and pretty much it's just gone from there.

109
00:12:27.260 --> 00:12:29.340
We're not even really associated with a P.

110
00:12:29.340 --> 00:12:29.530
D.

111
00:12:29.530 --> 00:12:29.990
Anymore.

112
00:12:29.990 --> 00:12:32.430
I mean this has been 2.5 years now.

113
00:12:32.430 --> 00:12:37.920
We're finally releasing this initiative and we have interviews going on until february of next.

114
00:12:37.920 --> 00:12:39.780
Wow, I have so many questions.

115
00:12:39.780 --> 00:12:43.120
Okay, How many, how many people are on your team?

116
00:12:43.150 --> 00:12:47.270
So right now I would say three.

117
00:12:47.270 --> 00:12:53.920
But it's mostly me and a wonderful also fellow ap D intern, Christine Kanagawa.

118
00:12:53.930 --> 00:12:58.570
But Kourtney and Shirley have been hoping along the way for two years.

119
00:12:58.580 --> 00:13:00.860
Yeah.

120
00:13:01.240 --> 00:13:01.600
Okay.

121
00:13:01.600 --> 00:13:02.650
And how are you funded?

122
00:13:03.440 --> 00:13:06.470
We're not it's pretty much just self Yeah.

123
00:13:06.480 --> 00:13:08.890
And I it hasn't been really expensive.

124
00:13:08.890 --> 00:13:20.960
I mean thank gosh for school because they fund zoom and then I think the only greater expense was hiring BSL interpreters, interpreters.

125
00:13:21.000 --> 00:13:22.900
That's been the only real expense.

126
00:13:22.940 --> 00:13:25.020
Other than that it's our time.

127
00:13:25.120 --> 00:13:26.710
But I'm more I'm happy to do it.

128
00:13:26.710 --> 00:13:29.250
I mean this this seems to be discussed and needs to be changed.

129
00:13:29.840 --> 00:13:48.720
Okay, well doing interviews on zoom takes a lot of time and I know that because this is what I do as my passion project for the podcast and I've been involved in an interview with you and your team and it takes a lot of planning a lot of just you know, being present and oh you did research on me before.

130
00:13:48.730 --> 00:13:49.250
Also.

131
00:13:49.940 --> 00:13:50.690
I did.

132
00:13:50.700 --> 00:14:04.010
I mean the whole process was really interesting because before I didn't know anyone in the entertainment industry and I just sent out a post and Gail Williamson of K.

133
00:14:04.010 --> 00:14:04.180
M.

134
00:14:04.180 --> 00:14:04.520
R.

135
00:14:04.530 --> 00:14:07.010
She reached out and said, Hey, I can help you.

136
00:14:07.010 --> 00:14:14.870
And she was the original talent agent which really started the game, were allowed a lot of people with disabilities to become in the entertainment industry.

137
00:14:14.870 --> 00:14:17.460
And then it was pretty much referral after referral.

138
00:14:17.640 --> 00:14:32.890
I mean I went from nobody 2.5 years ago and now I know more than 75 people from across the entertainment industry, talent agency, talent managers, people in sports writer, its author all I mean it's it's been great.

139
00:14:32.890 --> 00:14:35.110
It's been absolute privilege meeting all these people.

140
00:14:35.540 --> 00:14:36.930
Yeah, it's relationships.

141
00:14:36.930 --> 00:14:40.890
I keep saying that that that's how you, that's how you grow your network, right?

142
00:14:40.900 --> 00:14:46.540
And I need to catch back up with you because I know there's a couple of people that we knew, you know, the same people.

143
00:14:46.550 --> 00:14:50.420
Um and I am always looking for wonderful guests for the podcast.

144
00:14:50.430 --> 00:15:01.840
So let's definitely catch up after this and for our listener, take notes, this is how it happens is you know, you're listening to jake, he's a student and he just started reaching out and uh and now he's well connected.

145
00:15:01.870 --> 00:15:04.860
So what's the final product going to look like.

146
00:15:05.340 --> 00:15:07.410
So from all of this, I should also explain.

147
00:15:07.410 --> 00:15:13.460
It wasn't just reaching out to people, we had to make legal documents which I had no really idea.

148
00:15:14.980 --> 00:15:34.820
And so it took a long time to get those documents but it was pro bono work from lawyers which greatly appreciate and then from there it started so gail that referred us I think to Eileen Grub and yes, they were previous guests.

149
00:15:34.820 --> 00:15:38.050
If you want to listen to them on the show, they were about a year and a half ago.

150
00:15:38.140 --> 00:15:41.770
And then pretty much from that, that's how we were introduced to actors.

151
00:15:41.770 --> 00:15:47.560
But I was also thinking the entertainment industry is so much more and along this process.

152
00:15:47.570 --> 00:16:04.520
I was really learning about discrimination for people in the industry even if they were prominent or not and that really flabbergasted courtly Shirley and I said okay we should probably talk about this more because originally we were only thinking of just actually I don't think really knew what we were getting into.

153
00:16:04.530 --> 00:16:12.830
Yeah, I mean I wasn't expected, I think Eileen for example, she said that she had to hide her walking breaks to get roles.

154
00:16:12.840 --> 00:16:16.450
Yes, can you believe that I just I want to I want to highlight this.

155
00:16:16.460 --> 00:16:53.160
She had to um have them capture her walking across the room without showing that she had a significant change in her step And so that's how it was always in her in her presentation which is amazing and if you know Eileen google her Eileen Guba, she's gorgeous, she's smart, she is so proficient, she's so good at what she does and to hear this and know this, I met her in real life at one of the conferences and I was like what you know, just to understand that to capture that, that they had to edit out her disability is amazing.

156
00:16:53.540 --> 00:17:04.270
And then an advocate, Tatiana lee was trying to remember Tatiana, she was told that she couldn't get a job in this industry and then going to Ryan J.

157
00:17:04.270 --> 00:17:14.060
Haddad who he's more well known industry, he was in the politician and he's a playwright and he was told that where his play was going to be held, it's gonna be inaccessible.

158
00:17:14.339 --> 00:17:26.349
I have years who have told me that the stage was inaccessible because no ramps so they had to be hoisted over but it's not just actors who are affected either.

159
00:17:26.349 --> 00:17:40.320
I mean one of the reasons what you see on tv and film directly impacts everyday people and I can get to that later because its impact in my life and I'm not really, I'm in retail, it's impacted me and I'm just an ordinary person.

160
00:17:40.320 --> 00:18:02.850
I'm not, you know like, but then I wanted to interview content creators and that was hard to, because it's defining this to be, you have to reach out research and I was able to meet a lot of talent managers that way, but for example, Anastasia Pagonis too is a gold medalist, he's a paralympian, Just 2.4 million Tiktok viewers which is amazing.

161
00:18:02.850 --> 00:18:05.670
They even got here because very a lot of people.

162
00:18:06.240 --> 00:18:09.530
But she told me that people don't even think that she's capable.

163
00:18:10.940 --> 00:18:12.700
It's like she's a gold medal.

164
00:18:12.700 --> 00:18:13.650
I mean it's pretty capable.

165
00:18:15.190 --> 00:18:20.770
Yeah and it's just it keeps going on from there and we have 75 stories to share.

166
00:18:21.340 --> 00:18:23.170
How did you end up grouping them?

167
00:18:23.740 --> 00:18:26.930
It was whatever most fit best I think.

168
00:18:26.940 --> 00:18:40.040
I mean it depends on the days on the months because sometimes there's holidays in certain months that we have that we try to be aware of because diverse inclusion is very very important, disability isn't just a monolith.

169
00:18:40.090 --> 00:18:43.680
Anyone, any anywhere could be affected.

170
00:18:43.680 --> 00:18:51.520
Jillian Mercado who is on the L word, I believe she said disability is a club that anyone could join it anytime.

171
00:18:51.540 --> 00:18:59.360
She then she went on and she said, you know, you could be old, you could be dead even if you're dead on your deathbed, you could have a disability that counts.

172
00:18:59.360 --> 00:19:01.200
And it's like, yeah that's true.

173
00:19:01.210 --> 00:19:03.010
Well you and I are disabled right now.

174
00:19:03.020 --> 00:19:05.240
We are on zoom and I see we're both wearing glasses.

175
00:19:05.290 --> 00:19:06.950
Yeah.

176
00:19:07.240 --> 00:19:07.640
Right.

177
00:19:09.720 --> 00:19:12.360
Yeah, yep, yep.

178
00:19:12.370 --> 00:19:24.990
And some of us like myself have been for years dealing with things and using strategies um for a different quote unquote disabilities and not realizing, you know that this was an a disability because it's just who you are.

179
00:19:25.000 --> 00:19:28.750
I have a number of colleagues like myself who have realized that we have been struggling with A.

180
00:19:28.750 --> 00:19:28.890
D.

181
00:19:28.890 --> 00:19:29.060
H.

182
00:19:29.060 --> 00:19:29.360
D.

183
00:19:29.440 --> 00:19:33.490
All our lives but it's been managed for some people not managed well.

184
00:19:33.490 --> 00:19:35.520
And so now they're looking into alternatives.

185
00:19:35.520 --> 00:19:43.980
But you know there are all of these issues that we've been dealing with as adults um that we did not realize fit into these different categories.

186
00:19:43.980 --> 00:19:46.380
It's just that's how life is you know.

187
00:19:46.390 --> 00:19:50.960
But obviously for other people it's more overt, especially if it's a physical disability.

188
00:19:51.040 --> 00:19:52.830
Every building is different.

189
00:19:52.840 --> 00:19:59.010
I mean thinking sometimes it impacts your life greater than others.

190
00:19:59.020 --> 00:20:01.750
But I mean for me I have a D.

191
00:20:01.750 --> 00:20:01.950
H.

192
00:20:01.950 --> 00:20:02.370
D.

193
00:20:02.380 --> 00:20:04.440
I have a variety of mental health disabilities.

194
00:20:04.450 --> 00:20:14.050
I was diagnosed with migraines and if I have a migraine attack on the ground and if I didn't have medication I would just be on the ground crying constant wouldn't be able to really function.

195
00:20:14.440 --> 00:20:19.560
And that's just my experience not gonna talk about other people's but yeah I mean I pretty much just live with it.

196
00:20:19.570 --> 00:20:20.390
It's my everyday life.

197
00:20:20.390 --> 00:20:21.400
I don't know what's different.

198
00:20:21.410 --> 00:20:32.170
But If you're like me you can't get enough of books, podcasts, blogs and other ways to find out how to create, grow and scale.

199
00:20:32.180 --> 00:20:46.620
That's why I brought together 43 disability focus leaders to give you more of what you're looking for, you will hear their stories and three best selling books which focus on general offerings augmented and alternative communication and speech language pathology.

200
00:20:46.630 --> 00:20:55.760
I invite you to search for becoming an exceptional leader on Amazon so you can learn intimate startup pearls of wisdom and keep growing your brilliant idea.

201
00:20:57.040 --> 00:20:59.260
Now let's get back to our amazing interview.

202
00:20:59.940 --> 00:21:06.330
You know what's fantastic is the work that you're doing is showing us that it is us, you know, it's not us and them.

203
00:21:06.340 --> 00:21:11.480
I think that's the most important thing is we're starting to realize that ramps are required for everyday life.

204
00:21:11.490 --> 00:21:14.460
You know, I like talking about like text to speech.

205
00:21:14.470 --> 00:21:19.670
My husband who doesn't have any significant disability, loves to use text to speech.

206
00:21:19.840 --> 00:21:25.660
And it's interesting because that came out initially for people who had more difficulty, you know using their fingers to type.

207
00:21:25.840 --> 00:21:28.740
But I think accessibility features are fantastic.

208
00:21:28.750 --> 00:21:43.050
You know there's so many so many times that I'll use the door opener because I have boxes in my hands, you know at the post office, don't you do that, you know, you hit the thing and the door opens thank goodness Yeah, I think it's gone very far over the years.

209
00:21:43.060 --> 00:22:02.590
I mean haven't really paid attention to those sorts of accessibility because I don't have a disability where I use a lot of those devices but I would say people become more accepting people with disabilities even when I started the project, which is really interesting because there's I'm not gonna say this before and after.

210
00:22:02.600 --> 00:22:19.150
But I think a lot of people are working on these issues and so it's just creating more noise in the world and you can't just not ignore What 25% of the American population or 50% of the world they've been trying.

211
00:22:19.160 --> 00:22:25.290
I don't know why because Hollywood or the entertainment industry in general, they make change.

212
00:22:25.300 --> 00:22:45.360
I mean what you put out their religious perception and I'm gonna give a separate example of conversion therapy which is you know, a conversion therapy conversion therapy is where people who are LGBT plus can be sent to these therapies and it quote unquote converts them into being straight.

213
00:22:45.840 --> 00:22:48.650
It's not scientifically proven and it still exists.

214
00:22:48.660 --> 00:22:52.260
And I believe 28 states around the nation.

215
00:22:52.740 --> 00:23:02.030
And there was a film called boy a race that came out that we discussed this and we think it was 2018 along with the miseducation of Cameron Post.

216
00:23:02.040 --> 00:23:08.320
And because of that film, I believe it's three or four state legislators passed a ban on conversion therapy.

217
00:23:08.320 --> 00:23:10.720
That's how powerful Hollywood is.

218
00:23:10.850 --> 00:23:11.300
Also.

219
00:23:11.300 --> 00:23:13.400
13 reasons why suicide.

220
00:23:14.140 --> 00:23:22.620
It was very controversial but suicide became more well known and it's the second leading cause of that for People to age 15 to 25 minutes.

221
00:23:23.140 --> 00:23:30.050
Hollywood really really creates these discussions and acceptance and equity.

222
00:23:30.050 --> 00:23:34.850
And that even goes into not just people in the industry, but everyday life people.

223
00:23:34.850 --> 00:23:47.100
And I can talk about how I've been affected personally if you would like, you know, that's my next question I was going to say, so having deep dived into this deep dive into an area that you know I guess was not on your radar prior.

224
00:23:47.110 --> 00:23:48.560
How has this affected you?

225
00:23:49.040 --> 00:24:07.580
Yeah and I didn't really think about it either because I've never seen myself represented on screen and I think it's effective even more after conducting this initiative because like wow this takes me a minute and really think about it and just think how there really isn't anyone who's out there like me do I not matter?

226
00:24:08.240 --> 00:24:09.750
I mean I'm gonna start a person.

227
00:24:09.750 --> 00:24:22.790
I mean but it's it affects me not in the grid, it doesn't you know, impact my daily life but just trying to find myself on screen it makes me want to cry because I want to see someone like me.

228
00:24:22.800 --> 00:24:29.120
I think it'd be really cool and it might change the narrative for people who have the same disabilities the same identities as me.

229
00:24:29.130 --> 00:24:32.080
But mostly in education.

230
00:24:32.090 --> 00:24:35.230
I mean they were refusing to allow my 50.

231
00:24:35.230 --> 00:24:36.420
Force to come into place.

232
00:24:36.420 --> 00:24:37.820
And so we had to get an attorney.

233
00:24:37.820 --> 00:24:49.880
I mean just stuff there was that and then in the workforce and primarily worked in retail at a grocery store, used to work in my manager said that she was going to lay off this person with a D.

234
00:24:49.880 --> 00:24:50.050
H.

235
00:24:50.050 --> 00:24:50.410
D.

236
00:24:50.420 --> 00:24:59.580
She said that specifically because they couldn't concentrate and that I was at a job recently where I mean it wasn't really a disability accommodation but I was into.

237
00:24:59.580 --> 00:25:01.820
And I could still use my right hand.

238
00:25:01.820 --> 00:25:04.110
But they said they stopped scheduling me.

239
00:25:04.110 --> 00:25:07.130
And the reason was because we can't handle your restrictions.

240
00:25:09.380 --> 00:25:10.530
Yeah.

241
00:25:10.540 --> 00:25:12.360
Well I stopped working there anyway.

242
00:25:12.370 --> 00:25:15.750
They just stopped scheduling me and I'm like okay, whoa.

243
00:25:15.760 --> 00:25:19.620
But and that's that's that's my experience, that's nobody else's.

244
00:25:19.620 --> 00:25:21.190
But that's what I have seen.

245
00:25:21.200 --> 00:25:24.470
And then surely who is blind?

246
00:25:24.470 --> 00:25:27.170
She's the co founder in Hollywood.

247
00:25:27.180 --> 00:25:33.680
She sometimes walks with the game sometimes doesn't and people try to help her, which is very dangerous.

248
00:25:33.800 --> 00:25:42.760
And then Courtney, she has discussed how she has chronic illness and basically the assumption is that she can't do anything.

249
00:25:42.770 --> 00:25:46.510
Just looking at what's in the entertainment industry.

250
00:25:46.510 --> 00:25:56.190
Courtney pretty much any chronic illness that's basically you're dying or you're just depressed with your life and then surely discusses pretty little liars.

251
00:25:56.200 --> 00:25:59.670
Where this person walks with a cane at nighttime with sunglasses.

252
00:25:59.840 --> 00:26:03.450
It's a really big and then for me for a.

253
00:26:03.450 --> 00:26:03.600
D.

254
00:26:03.600 --> 00:26:03.810
H.

255
00:26:03.810 --> 00:26:04.210
D.

256
00:26:04.210 --> 00:26:07.170
I think of sex in the city where Kerry says a.

257
00:26:07.170 --> 00:26:07.350
D.

258
00:26:07.350 --> 00:26:07.610
D.

259
00:26:07.610 --> 00:26:13.400
Another dating disaster and she can't handle the person because he can't concentrate.

260
00:26:13.410 --> 00:26:20.760
It's all over the place or victoria, which in a song she says, I'm so sick of it.

261
00:26:20.760 --> 00:26:21.890
Your attention deficit.

262
00:26:21.890 --> 00:26:23.280
Never listened, never listen.

263
00:26:24.030 --> 00:26:34.210
That that's in people's minds even as people think of it as a joke who are the creators, it impacts people's lives millions, billions.

264
00:26:36.040 --> 00:26:39.460
It does, wow, The work you're doing is enormous.

265
00:26:39.470 --> 00:27:01.200
Um and I feel like this kind of inception, because you interviewed me because I was doing all of the interviews, um with people in Hollywood and or not Hollywood mostly like acting and theater and then now I'm interviewing you because of the work that you're doing, but this is what, this is, what we're meant to do is to help to raise the awareness, you know, increase the noise, it's just incredible.

266
00:27:01.640 --> 00:27:04.510
So when does this actually become available?

267
00:27:04.520 --> 00:27:06.910
So this is an awareness campaign.

268
00:27:06.910 --> 00:27:23.980
So it started in May and it's just short videos of all the interviews like May of 2022, right May of 2022, so pretty recently and then all the way through february and we might do another round.

269
00:27:23.990 --> 00:27:35.780
It depends, I'm going to wait till august and just have a little bit of a breather because it takes a lot of time, especially by myself, but we might do another round and I should mention the whole point.

270
00:27:35.790 --> 00:28:02.850
So there's the awareness side and you know, trying to get people to learn about these issues as much as possible and ideally become trending, if not, that's fine, but simultaneously I created a memo that is being sent to heads of entertainment industry officials to try to convince them hey or make them or make it in the known like, hey, this is the problem, this seems to change and then I provide solutions and that's all on the website.

271
00:28:03.240 --> 00:28:05.270
So anyone could download that if they wanted to.

272
00:28:05.940 --> 00:28:06.520
Fantastic.

273
00:28:06.520 --> 00:28:10.350
Okay, so how do we plug into what's going on each month?

274
00:28:10.840 --> 00:28:12.620
Social media, that's what I do.

275
00:28:12.620 --> 00:28:27.850
So we have a facebook tiktok twitter instagram and it's under what, how do we follow Hollywood except twitter, which was hard, that's disability and age, but it's disability, Hollywood across the board, that's really long handle.

276
00:28:27.860 --> 00:28:29.900
And what are we, what are we doing?

277
00:28:29.900 --> 00:28:30.890
Are we looking at videos?

278
00:28:30.890 --> 00:28:32.290
Are we listening to information?

279
00:28:32.290 --> 00:28:34.060
What is the platform?

280
00:28:34.070 --> 00:28:34.750
Yeah.

281
00:28:34.760 --> 00:28:45.840
So for all the platforms, we use it to share individual stories, perspectives or advice or just experiences of discrimination they've been through.

282
00:28:45.840 --> 00:29:11.430
So it's essentially just a long awareness campaign and ideally it's built up as well because of the followers, people have, the more people hear of it, the more people want to watch it and this is going to february and then simultaneously if you want to find potential solutions or how to not maybe solutions, but how to combat this that's on our website and I'm, that's in the how can I help such contact us?

283
00:29:11.440 --> 00:29:18.960
And below that should be a paper very, very short paper that describes.

284
00:29:19.340 --> 00:29:21.280
It's a policy memo essentially.

285
00:29:21.970 --> 00:30:03.560
So I mean I can see that now it's pretty simplistic too, but hire people with disabilities from the top to the bottom If characters are disabled only hire people with disabilities to play those parts and it's a big one because this whole time it might have changed maybe half a percentage 1% essentially the same where There's only 2% of disabled roles on TV and film and out of all those people it's only 5 to 10% of those 2% have a disability and then fostering an environment supporting people with disabilities by including them and newsletters, focus groups and training just talking about disability.

286
00:30:04.040 --> 00:30:10.850
And then in America making sure that sets stage office etcetera to be accessible.

287
00:30:10.860 --> 00:30:12.040
Including interpreters.

288
00:30:12.040 --> 00:30:15.090
And I've been hearing this a lot through the actors and it's not A.

289
00:30:15.090 --> 00:30:15.270
D.

290
00:30:15.270 --> 00:30:16.930
A compliant and that's illegal.

291
00:30:16.930 --> 00:30:19.540
You don't want to lose lawsuit on your hands.

292
00:30:19.550 --> 00:30:23.450
But it's just it's just basic law in the United States.

293
00:30:23.640 --> 00:30:24.840
Excellent, wow.

294
00:30:24.840 --> 00:30:26.040
You've done so much work.

295
00:30:26.040 --> 00:30:28.150
You've grown so much since our interview.

296
00:30:28.160 --> 00:30:32.160
Um speaking of when does my segment become available?

297
00:30:32.640 --> 00:30:38.350
I believe yours comes out in July July 1st to 3rd.

298
00:30:38.380 --> 00:30:39.280
Excellent.

299
00:30:39.290 --> 00:30:39.580
Yeah.

300
00:30:39.590 --> 00:30:47.380
And I think that's why we also wanted to push this episode so that people would know and again, it's just more layering more information.

301
00:30:47.390 --> 00:30:50.960
Just fantastic work that you and your team are doing jake.

302
00:30:51.240 --> 00:30:51.690
Thank you.

303
00:30:51.690 --> 00:30:59.690
You provide a unique perspective where you've worked with a lot of people with disabilities and also as an owner of a business that you've made these changes.

304
00:30:59.690 --> 00:31:20.430
I mean you specifically talking interview how it's hard to ensure equity and inclusion, but you do your best because you're always learning and use the example of pronouns and how you use that for interviews and you always talk about that and that's just having to grow with the times pretty much and doing your absolute best.

305
00:31:20.430 --> 00:31:21.230
And it is hard.

306
00:31:21.230 --> 00:31:28.110
I mean with this whole pandemic, a lot has become into the known or that you have to advocate for.

307
00:31:28.110 --> 00:31:30.870
I think that's what social media and there's pros and cons to this.

308
00:31:31.340 --> 00:31:42.030
But definitely with the pandemic, I've been more aware of a lot more social issues and how to actively either advocate for or combat or there's so much.

309
00:31:42.030 --> 00:31:45.810
But basically you always have to learn and if you don't you get left behind.

310
00:31:45.820 --> 00:31:48.180
Absolutely.

311
00:31:48.190 --> 00:32:10.070
It's also wrong to not advocate for these issues too, because then you're basically saying it's okay that people are less equal than you and it's not and that's why we need the work that you're doing combined with the work that everyone else is doing to continue to raise this awareness and help to shape you know, our understanding of the world as it is.

312
00:32:10.080 --> 00:32:11.730
Thank you so much jake.

313
00:32:11.730 --> 00:32:27.080
Please also extend to thank you to your other team members and I totally appreciate your time and energy that you've been doing this for two years to create this for us, we'll continue to watch what you're doing and support you out there and please let me know if I can help you in any way.

314
00:32:27.090 --> 00:32:28.790
Well, thank you so much for having me.

315
00:32:29.480 --> 00:32:39.350
We hope you enjoyed this episode and invite you to leave us a review on Apple podcasts and Spotify and share the show with people you think will find value from it.

316
00:32:39.440 --> 00:32:46.500
This helps the show a lot or have a great guest referral reach out to us at X Leaders at gmail dot com.

317
00:32:46.580 --> 00:32:55.460
And if you want exclusive tips on becoming an exceptional leader, deliver straight to your inbox, just go to exceptional Leaders dot com and sign up for our mailing list.

318
00:32:55.470 --> 00:32:56.890
Thanks for listening.

Jake Linn Profile Photo

Jake Linn

Jake Linn is an artist and action oriented-advocate who focuses on using creative tools to drive policy changes. His undergrad was spent at School of the Art Institute of Chicago which can be seen in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Currently, Jake is obtaining a Master’s Degree at CSU - Sacramento. His latest initiative is Disability in Hollywood (DiH). DiH is an education project interviewing prominent folks in the entertainment industry, discussing their experiences and tips for combating ableism and increasing inclusion and representation.