I create media not just for print and broadcast - but for sustained impact. Here are a few examples.
social action campaign
In 2016 I started a campaign called “#LetThemOut – Ending Handicapitalism One Story at a Time” that incorporated short documentaries, social media like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, investigative news stories, and calls to action like signing a petition to free the nearly 2 million Americans with disabilities of all ages who are being held against their will in for-profit institutions. Within a few days of its release, the first episode received close to 2000 views on Vimeo and reached more than 2300 people on Facebook. To make sure the “right” people were watching, I tagged dozens of government officials, advocacy groups, and disability rights attorneys in a position to act. The results were direct and immediate. Adam Graziano, the subject of Part 1, was liberated from a facility in Massachusetts after 10 years of institutionalization, and the state agency responsible for protecting the rights of people with disabilities opened an investigation into the rehab center that had been holding him against his will.
Because No One Should Have to Crawl
public awareness campaign
In 2017, I traveled to the Andes in Peru to capture the story behind the distribution of Free Wheelchair Mission’s millionth wheelchair. The result is my documentary airing on PBS stations across the U.S. as part of the award-winning TV series, The Visionaries. I gave Free Wheelchair Mission, which distributes free wheelchairs in some of the poorest and most remote regions in the world, an exclusive release of the documentary, and since the fall of 2017, they have been traveling the country, hosting pop-up screenings at churches and in theaters and people’s homes. To date, they have hosted more than 34 screenings – large and small – all across America, bringing hundreds of new supporters into their fold.
In 2017, I produced a short documentary about a nonprofit’s pioneering model to help people with disabilities break barriers in the workplace, housing, and more. The profiled organization, Becoming Independent, screened a director's cut of the film at their 50th anniversary gala - right before the "paddle pledge" of their live auction. According to Lisa Folsom-Ernst, BI's Director of Fund Development, "more paddles were raised than ever before, and the spirit of the room was phenomenal. All told, we raised $450,000."
part of landmark case against the Mexican government
With undercover footage obtained by Disability Rights International (DRI), I created a digital exhibit to document the extreme abuse and neglect of people with disabilities living at a facility in Mexico City. DRI was citing these abuses as part of a landmark case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Modeled after the U.S. Supreme Court case of Olmstead vs. LC, DRI’s legal petition in 2017 set out to establish that people with disabilities have a right to live in the community under protection of international law. DRI also intended to prove that former Casa Esperanza detainees - survivors of sexual violence, permanent restraints, forced sterilization, and human trafficking - had a right to reparations. The case will force Mexico to create new community services, starting with programs to help the survivors of Casa Esperanza.