Friday, August 26, 2005

UPDATE!

It has taken some time, but here is the second entry in the blog. I apologize for the delay, but I am very busy.

Thanksto all of you who have expressed and offered your support. It is importantthat people remember that we have much work ahead of us. We are in the processof creating the second draft of our executive summary and business plan.These will be more fully developed than what is currently on the web site.They will not be for public consumption since they will contain sensitiveinformation relating to our strategic business development.

Whilewe are still an organization of volunteers, we are always looking to addpeople in key areas who have valuable experience and perspective to offeras in marketing, PR, sales, etc.

We will have for profit and not-for-profitinitiatives with opportunities for people to support us in both or eithercapacities.

I urge you to read through the information in the ExecutiveSummary and Business Plan on the site though to get a better understandingof what we will be doing as a company.

I think it is important tolet you know why I am doing this, what is my personal motivation since Iam asking for your belief in our mission.

This is all due to mydaughter, Victoria. She was born 21 years ago and is a person with disabilities.The past 21 years of my life have been consumed with my efforts to fullyinclude her. At first I just wanted to make sure she would live when we weretold she might not. After that it was mommy and me classes, pre-school, thenelementary, middle and finally high school. My wife and I worked endlessly,and we were able to create for Victoria an inclusive educational programwith a school district that was seldom cooperative if not confrontational.It certainly did not understand our reasoning or our philosophy. I becameaware early and often of how few choices there were for Victoria in educationand in the world that awaited her upon high school graduation.

Itis important to know that PWdBC will not survive or succeed without the involvementof people without disabilities. This is not an exercise in separation orexclusivity.

I have a poster that says, “Label jars not people.”I feel that PWdBC’s television channel, no matter what it is called eventually,is a true mainstream channel. I feel that the existing channels today areeither niche channels concentrating on one subject area such as gardening,sports, cooking, etc. or they are channels of exclusivity. Neither the networksnor the major cable channels are mainstream, they are not inclusive. Mostof them do not even claim to be. They may offer some kind of lip serviceto including women, or people of color, etc. but they certainly do not havethe temerity to claim any kind of commitment to people with disabilities,or baby boomers, or Asian Americans, or Native Americans, or Latino Americans.Our channel will, besides committing to a 20% employment rate of people withdisabilities in front of and behind the camera, strive to include in ourworkforce and in our viewership, baby boomers and people of varying backgrounds.
We cannot afford to ignore anyone. This is a valuable lesson that someday perhaps the rest of society will learn. We in the community of peoplewith disabilities learned it long ago.

I look forward to your comments as we go forward.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Disability Broadcasting Company Launches on Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

Los Angeles, CA -- July 26, 2005 -- On the 15th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the People With disabilities Broadcasting Corporation (PWdBC) is pleased to announce the formal launch of its website and the initial stage of creating and maintaining a powerful new disability media presence.

Central to PWdBC's mission is the creation of the first 24-hour TV channel "of, by and for people with disabilities . . . and everyone else," which will include comedies, dramas, reality, sports, and information and news programs. PWdBC is in exploratory conversations with a number of media companies to make this channel a reality.

PWdBC is also in discussions with a number of entertainment unions and guilds, universities, disability groups, philanthropic organizations and advertisers to generate support, to develop partnerships and alliances, and to create a pool of talented actors, writers, producers and other support professionals.

"It is important for us in the disability community to advocate and legislate, but it's time for us to create and celebrate both our historical and future contributions to American popular culture," said Howard Renensland, PWdBC Founder and President.

Renensland, an accomplished actor, writer, director, and teacher, has an adult daughter who was born with disabilities.

An estimated 54 million Americans identify themselves as having a disability, while the worldwide population of people with disabilities is estimated at over 600 million. The unique perspectives of this powerful, creative minority are largely missing from the mainstream media, and therefore society as a whole.

Few characters with disabilities appear in television and film. Actors with disabilities portray just a handful of these. Perhaps more importantly, people with disabilities are not represented in the creative processes behind the camera, making accurate portrayals of people with disabilities rare.

PWdBC will work toward correcting this imbalance by becoming the first mainstream media entity to design all programs to be accessible and available to everyone, to give a voice to this growing population, and to foster the employment and training of a large number of talented people with disabilities in the entertainment and information industries.

"We feel strongly that the global concerns of people with disabilities will be most rapidly advanced through the successful inclusion of persons who have disabilities within the structure of mass media itself," Renensland explained.

For more information, or to submit resumes and demos, contact:
Howard Renensland, Founder & President
PWdBC, People With disabilities Broadcasting Corporation
Post Office Box 685, Wilton, CT 06897
203-216-1300
howard@pwdbc.org
www.pwdbc.org