Calling all budding journalists, filmmakers, media junkies and disability rights activists — applications for the 2017 Disability Rights Storyteller Fellowship are now open.
The American Association of People with Disabilities and disability filmmakers Rooted in Rights sponsor the fellowship, which allows individuals with disabilities to learn skills in digital media storytelling, network with media professionals, and prepare for careers in digital media and online advocacy. The fellowship may be completed from anywhere and applications are due March 15.
The fellowship commences with orientation sessions detailing the history of the disability rights movement, current policy issues, and the role of the media in disability rights. The process will also offer technical workshops where the fellow will gain hands-on training in video technique, script writing, digital storytelling, basic camera composition, and video editing. The fellow will be expected to use those skills to write and produce two high-quality, three-four minute videos. They will be fully supported throughout the six-month-long process by the filmmaking professionals at Rooted in Rights.
“The media industry has a tendency to both under-report issues important to people with disabilities, or report them solely from the perspective of non-disabled citizens, says Zach Baldwin, director of outreach for AAPD. “We believe some of the reason for this is the relative lack of people with disabilities employed in a variety of [media production] fields.”
Interested applicants must have a disability, a strong desire to promote disability rights, and be driven to pursue a career in digital media, but are not required to have prior experience in digital media production. The fellowship includes Q-and-A sessions and video chats, with media professionals providing advice on how to break into the industry. AAPD will also connect the fellow with internship and employment opportunities.
“If the disability rights movement is to be successful in the 21st century, the next generation of advocates need to master 21st century communication tools and techniques,” says Baldwin.
Click here for information on eligibility requirements and how to apply. Below is an example of a past storyteller’s video: