Disability Means Diversity

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My co-star from The Ringer, Eddie Barbanell

I was honored to be invited to celebrate the Farrelly Brothers as they received the Morton E. Ruderman Award for their work of inclusion of people with disabilities. In this industry, nobody comes close to the work they’ve done. It’s been an honor to work with them in the past. Shooting with them on The Ringer is an experience that changed my life. 

This star-studded event included so many performers with disabilities like Marlee Matlin, Geri Jewell, and Danny Woodburn.

I first met Danny on the set of Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups. (Read HERE) Fortunately I was seated right there next to him so we were able to reconnect. We shared a few jokes about the fancy butter dish.

Here’s the thing. They are all so amazing that it didn’t occur to me when I met them there that they are people with disabilities. I just got the star-struck “don’t know what to say” feeling that I get whenever I’m at an event like this.

Other names you may recognize were Ted Danson, Larry David, Kevin Pollack, Kevin Nealon and so many others that I just didn’t have the time to meet. And I made some new friends including Matthew Sauve. What a nice guy. We talked about parenting, table etiquette and his belief that the arts are not just a privilege, they’re a right.

Would you like to join in that call for making more roles available for people with disabilities? Click HERE. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts about creating more opportunities for people with disabilities and including people with disabilities in the diversity discussion.

Published by billchott

Bill Chott is currently appearing in Marshall's Miracle, a family film about a courageous dog who survived hardships to triumph as a therapy dog. For five years he was on the Emmy-Winning Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place. Originally from St. Louis Missouri, he is a member of his high school's Hall of Fame, a Broadway Award winner for his work in I Love Lucy Live on on Stage, and the winner of the INNY awards for Best Improv Coach. He attended Central Methodist University and trained in Improvisation at The Second City. There he worked with such comedy powerhouses as Tina Fey, Steve Carrel, Stephen Colbert among many others. Bill starred on The Dana Carvey Show, does cartoon voices on PBS, Saturday Night Live and in film, he appeared in Galaxy Quest, Dude Where's My Car, and he was a lead role as Thomas, the Special Olympian who brings home the bronze in the Farrelly Bros. film The Ringer.

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