RESOLUTION 2010-11

Entertainment Industry Discrimination
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2010-11

SUMMARY:

1. This organization urges the entertainment industry to take immediate steps to achieve the following:

- increased and accurate representation of characters that are blind or visually impaired;

- more employment opportunities for professionals who are blind or visually impaired;

- an absolute prohibition on the portrayal of blind or visually impaired characters by sighted actors.

-equal opportunities for actors who are blind or visually impaired to both audition for and portray characters not written as blind or visually impaired;

2. This organization urges its state and local affiliates to advocate in a manner consistent with this resolution.

WHEREAS, historically, the entertainment industry has been centered in California and New York; and

WHEREAS, in recent years, many states and municipalities have actively and successfully wooed motion picture and television productions away from California and New York, making this industry important in locales throughout the nation; and

WHEREAS, pervasive discrimination against people who are blind or visually impaired exists throughout the entertainment industry both in the lack of employment of individuals with visual impairments and the use of inaccurate and often demeaning stereotypes in the portrayal of characters who are blind or visually impaired; and

WHEREAS, through its "I AM PWD"'s campaign, of which the California Council of the Blind is a member, The Tri-Union National Committee of Performers with disabilities has produced renewed commitments by all three talent guilds, to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, a recent meeting between the officials of the U.S. Department of Labor and entertainment industry leaders resulted in a collaborative effort to potentially increase employment of persons with disabilities in the entertainment industry; and

WHEREAS, although these first steps are encouraging, the prevailing viewpoint throughout the entertainment industry is to generally ignore these issues;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz., on the 16th day of July, 2010, that this organization urge the entertainment industry to take immediate steps to achieve the following:

1. increased and accurate representation of characters that are blind or visually impaired;

2. more employment opportunities for professionals who are blind or visually impaired;

3. an absolute prohibition on the portrayal of blind or visually impaired characters by sighted actors;

4. equal opportunities for actors who are blind or visually impaired to both audition for and portray characters not written as blind or visually impaired; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization urge its state and local affiliates to advocate in a manner consistent with this resolution.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary