Allies & Advocates Together: Our Stories Matter



Jim LeBrecht, Director/Producer Jim LeBrecht has over 35 years of experience as a film and theater sound designer and mixer, author and disability rights activist. Jim began his career in theater, working as the resident sound designer at the Berkeley Repertory Theater for 10 years. His film credits include The Island President, The Waiting Room, The Kill Team and Audry and Daisy. A complete list of his film credits (over 145) can be viewed at IMDB. Jim co-authored Sound and Music for the Theater: the art and technique of design. Now in its 4th edition, the book is used as a textbook all over the world. Jim’s work as an activist began in high school and continued at UC, San Diego, where he helped found the Disabled Students Union. Jim is currently a board member of the Disability Education and Defense Fund, which works for the rights of the disabled through education,legislation, and litigation. James LeBrecht. (January 8, 2018). A Place at the Table: Doc Filmmakers with Disabilities on Building Careers and Disproving Stereotypes. Documentary Magazine Nicole Newnham, Director/Producer Nicole Newnham is an Emmy-winning documentary producer and director, Sundance Film Festival alumnus and five-time Emmy-nominee. She has recently produced two virtual reality films with the Australian artist / director Lynette Wallworth:the breakthrough VR work Collisions, which won the 2017 Emmy for Outstanding New Approaches to Documentary, and Awavena, featured this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos and at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Previously she co-directed The Revolutionary Optimists, winner of the Sundance Hilton Sustainability Award, Nicole also instigated, co-produced and directed the acclaimed documentary The Rape of Europa, about the Nazi war on European culture, which was nominated for a WGA award and shortlisted for the Academy Award. With Pulitzer-prize winning photographer Brian Lanker, she produced They Drew Fire, about the Combat Artists of WWII, and co-wrote the companion book, distributed by Harper Collins. A 1997 graduate of the Stanford Documentary Film Program, Nicole lives in Oakland with her husband Tom, and two sons, Finn and Blaine. To watch Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, please subscribe to Netflix


My name is Ashley Jacobson and I have spent more than a decade devoted to disability advocacy.
During my undergraduate years, an immediate family member of mine endured a serious car accident which left her facing ongoing rehabilitation for a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Her rehabilitation process opened my mind to a world of systemic challenges people with disabilities face on a daily basis.
I graduated in Undergraduate Studies with Specialties in Special Education, Psychology, and Political Science from Western Michigan University and then received my Master’s degree from Michigan State University’s Rehabilitation Counseling program (ranked #1 in the nation).
Rehabilitation Counseling is a field which empowers people with disabilities through counseling and training to live their most independent and fulfilling lives vocationally, personally, and otherwise.
During my graduate studies, I worked as the Program Coordinator for the Building Opportunities for Networking and Discovery (BOND) program for college students on the autism spectrum attending Michigan State University, through MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.
After graduating with my Master’s degree, I passed the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam and spent time counseling youth and adults with disabilities for a non-profit organization in Michigan. I quickly realized that there was more I could do to advance the interests of the disability community.
Without violating confidentiality, I can attest to the misconceptions, barriers, and problematic vulnerabilities that create an inaccessible justice system.
I saw clients reach out to police, attorneys, and others in the community for help, only to be misunderstood.
I saw too many of my clients with disabilities dealing with legal troubles based on a lack of accessibility to the right resources. Truthfully, I also found many actors in our system who were simply not adequately trained in how to approach a legal issue involving a person with a disability–whether that person was a victim/survivor of a crime, alleged to have committed a crime, or needed assistance with domestic violence, family law issues, or educational barriers.
I grew frustrated in referring my clients to attorneys because while those attorneys were competent and excellent in their field, they really did not have the background and training in how to approach a case involving a person with a disability.
But, pointing fingers at missteps and misunderstandings is not my goal.
The only true pathway to a more inclusive system for people with disabilities, is to focus on simple and concrete approaches to making our legal system accessible to the complex and diverse disability community. Ashley is willingly to be a free referral for those in need, for more information go to: Disclaimer: The women of Claiming Disability, Inc are not authorized to give legal consult.



REAL TALK We are determined to not allow our disability to become our identity. We know we have more to offer than a pre generalized stereotype of a blue placard with a white stick figure.
But what if we turned the tables and allowed our identity; who we are to our core, to become how our disability is unveiled?
This marks the point in which we allow our set backs to build us. To be able to embrace what is designed to break us and leave our mark on the world for change. Being diagnosed with a neurological disability at the age of 30 is enough to make anyone climb into a hole, curl up and start burying yourself alive. The initial reaction of shock, fear, grief overwhelms us and we are left frozen. Unsure of where we go next. Just saying “it’s a lot to take in” doesn’t even begin to cover the extensive impact this moment has on your life. You are thrown against a wall of reality with emotions that contradict one another almost leaving you in a state of sudden whiplash. So what is your next move?For Brittany Quiroz now known as “A Hot MS” it was a “fight or flight, do or die” moment, as she says in her lyrics via her motivational music. For More Information: Please go to:



Exclusive Interview with Mick Rosenthal and the "gorgeous," ladies of CD. (Mick's words, thanks Mick) Original Air Date: 2/8/2020 Award-winning NETFLIX documentary puts people with disabilities on the silver screen at Sundance My first time at the Sundance Film Festival was very memorable. A great documentary called CRIP CAMP opened the festival. The film features a camp in upper New York State called Camp Jened. Long lost to the dustbin of our collective 1950s, 1960s and 1970s history, Camp Jened was a camp for people with disabilities. Now, you’ll be able to experience the impact of Camp Jened when CRIP CAMP premieres on Netflix in mid-March. The film should also have a limited theatrical release. I got the opportunity to attend Sundance and see CRIP CAMP because, my parnts, who are a filmmaker and former actress turned political and environmental activist, invested in the film.
The documentary looks at Camp Jened and its participants, who helped start the Disability Rights Movement, part the larger Civil Rights Movement. The film underscores an important idea that: · disabilities do not discriminate · a disability doesn’t care what skin color you have · a disability doesn’t care who you voted for, nor who you love · a disability doesn’t care what language you speak I am physically disabled with Cerebral Palsy and have been working on a long-term project regarding disabilities and voting rights. The fight for inclusion continues today, as there are still very few people with disabilities serving in Congress. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the protections guaranteed to people with disabilities, was passed in 1990 with bipartisan support from both houses of Congress. In this new century, there are still very few serving in Congress who have the abilities to make laws to protect our lives as people with disabilities. It seems that the protections afforded to us are slowly, and quietly, getting rolled back. Read More here...



The special Valentine's Day Addition of the You Belong Here Podcast. The women of Claiming Disability, Inc meet with 24 year old Tylia to discuss her many accomplishments in the disabled community. You are so disabled and fierce, Tylia, you are empowering to so many people in the disabled community.
Tylia Flores was born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination to make a difference in the world.
Learn more about Tylia at Original Air Date: 2/14/2020


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