Hollywood power players came together to celebrate disability awareness at theÂ 2016 Media Access AwardsÂ on Friday morning (November 18) at the Four Seasons Hotel – Beverly Hills in Los Angeles.
Celebrities in attendance includedÂ J.K. Simons, Micah Fowler, Kyla Kenedy, Mason Cook, Cedric Yarbrough, Katie Leclerc, Chad Coleman, Drew Tappon, Geri Jewell, Margaret Nagle,Â and more.
For those of you who don’t know,Â The Media Access Awards honors members of the entertainment and broadcast industries for their efforts in promoting awareness of the disability experience, accessibility for people with disabilities, and the accurate depiction of characters with disabilities.
“There’s this minority in the United States and they’re the least represented in the entertainment industry. Less than 1% of characters written on television have a disability, but it’s 20% of the United States population,” Katy SullivanÂ tellsÂ Celeb SecretsÂ in regards to importance of the event.Â “Events like the Media Access AwardsÂ really draw attention to the fact that we’re not reflected in our media and if you’re not seen, you don’t exist. These events are crucial and very important.”
The Media Access Awards aim to recognize depictions of disability that are accurate, inclusive, and multi-faceted, and attendeeÂ Jonathan MurrayÂ hopes that the event and its honorees will pave the way for more growth for the PWD (people with disabilities) community.
“I think the success of Born This Way where we have seven young adults with down syndrome is helping progression of the PWD community. A lot of people thought that the show would never work and that people wouldn’t watch it, yet we’re going into our third season. The success of Born This WayÂ and events with theÂ Media Access AwardsÂ will hopefully raise more awareness and give the PWD community more opportunities,” he says.
For more information on theÂ 2016 Media Access Awards,Â click here.