The honorees for the Media Access Awards virtual event on Nov. 17 have been revealed.
The program honors “those individuals, shows, and films that have transformed on-screen representation for the disability community, while improving the depiction and employment of persons with disabilities in Hollywood,” as hosted by Millicent Simonds and presented in cooperation with Easterseals. The Casting Society of America, Producers Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, and Writers Guild of America honorees are chosen by diversity committees of professional organizations.
For the first time, IMDbPro will award an Excellence in Directing award, which will go to John Krasinski for his dedication to inclusion in his newest Paramount Pictures picture A Quiet Place Part II. Simmonds, who plays a significant role in the film, will give a speech. Selma Blair, the subject of the upcoming Discovery+ documentary Introducing Selma Blair about her battle with multiple sclerosis, will receive a Visionary Award from activist and founder of #DisabledAndCute Keah Brown.
Shoshanna Stern will give Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, who starred in this year’s Coda, with a lifetime achievement award. Troy Kotsur, her co-actor in the Apple TV+ short, will also be recognized with a SAG-AFTRA award for his work with Eternals actress Lauren Ridloff, who will be on hand to present. Finally, the casting crew for the film will be recognized, with Deborah Aquila, Lisa Zagoria, and Tricia Wood set to receive the CSA Award from director Sian Heder.
Another prize, the Disability Awareness Award, is being co-sponsored by SAG-AFTRA and will be given to Zeno Mountain Farm. Jamie Brewer and Zack Gottsagen will present it. The PGA’s George Sunga Award will be awarded to Luca producer Andrea Warren by Jacob Tremblay, one of the animated film’s actors. Ryan O’Connell, the creator and star of Special, will receive the WGA’s Evan Somers Memorial Award. Jim Parsons, the show’s executive producer, will be in attendance.
Olympic gold medalist Jamie Nieto will receive a Christopher Reeve Acting Scholarship, which will be awarded by Michael Patrick Thornton. A performance by Rex & Friends, a group of autistic and blind musicians and singers directed by Rex Lewis-Clark, as well as Kinetic Light Company, which produces and performs at the intersections of disability, dance, and race, will be included in the program.
“The presenters and awardees at this year’s Media Access Awards are examples of how the industry is continuing to move ahead to promote disability coverage and inclusion,” said Mark Whitley, CEO of Easterseals Southern California.
IMDbPro and Friends producer Kevin Bright are platinum sponsors; gold sponsors ViacomCBS, Comcast, and NBCUniversal are gold sponsors; and silver sponsors Bunim/Murray, Sony Pictures, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Legendary Film, and Disney General Entertainment Services are silver sponsors. Deborah Calla is the show’s executive producer, while Allen Rucker is the show’s writer.