Finally, Hollywood is getting the message to be more inclusive to people living with disabilities. According to Deadline, the Casting Society of America is going to hold open casting calls across the U.S. on Jan. 7, 2018 for performers hoping to break into the entertainment industry.
According to Backstage, interested actors in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta will be asked to read a two-page scene of their choosing. The goal, according to CSA's Facebook page, is to "offer actors the opportunity to work with casting directors who are looking to expand their knowledge of underrepresented and undiscovered talent in a professional casting environment."
It's no secret that Hollywood has a problem with diversity, both in its casting and who it hires to work behind the scenes. Just look to the now-annual #OscarsSoWhite movement or the noticeable lack of women directors recognized for the 2018 Golden Globes if you need a quick refresher.
While it's certainly important to continue to represent more people of color, more women, and more people within the LGBTQ+ community, our discussions surrounding representation and diversity in Hollywood often overlook those living with disabilities.
Think of the films or TV shows that depict someone in a wheelchair or someone with ALS. If you instantly thought of Drake in Degrassi or Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything, we can't blame you. There simply aren't enough stories being told about differently abled people, and when their stories are told, they're not often portrayed by folks in those communities. Representation matters, especially since the CDC reports that approximately 53 million Americans live with a disability that affects their vision, cognition, mobility, hearing, or ability to live independently.
Hopefully, this open call will inspire the entertainment world to depict people living with disabilities, so that television and film can continue to reflect the world we live in.