Why Have a Challenge?

Spotlights against a white background


The unique stories of people living with disabilities are too often untold, as this population is sometimes underrepresented in the entertainment industry. For example, while more than 18% of Americans have disabilities, only 2.4% of all speaking characters were depicted with a disability in the top 100 films of 2015.*

Filming crew of three people shooting two women talking


The film challenge addresses this underrepresentation by empowering filmmakers, actors, and other creators–with and without disabilities–to take their careers into their own hands. This challenge gives them the platform to use creative storytelling, share their diverse perspectives on screen and gain the opportunity to network with Hollywood professionals.

Film director watches the monitor as the take is being shot.


With more than 56 million Americans with disabilities, the challenge aims to raise awareness about this community in Hollywood’s ongoing diversity conversation. By seeing their aspirational stories reflected on screen, these films inspire people to join the conversation and expand the audience’s understanding of disability today.

*Inequality in 800 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race/Ethnicity, LGBT, and Disability from 2007-2015; by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, and Dr. Katherine Pieper


  • Variety Inclusion Summit

    Beverly Hills, November 1, 2017 – Earlier this month, The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge made a splash at…

    Read more
  • 2018 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge Dates Announced

    Easterseals Disability Film challenge founder and Easterseals Southern California Board Member Nic Novicki announced the dates for the…

    Read more
  • 2017 Disability Film Challenge Awards Ceremony

    To celebrate the winners of the 4th Annual Disability Film Challenge, and its first year partnering with Easterseals…

    Read more