In 2020, the Entertainment Industry Foundation launched Delivering Jobs, a campaign to create employment opportunities for people with autism, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the EIF, actor and filmmaker Tal Anderson, who has autism, spoke THR About the initiative.
FDid the hat motivate you to get involved in Work Delivery?
Initially, as an actor, I was invited to participate in the 2019 Original Works sweepstakes campaign. It was a massive campaign that included public service announcements, print advertising, and the explosion of digital billboards in Times Square. I played the lead role as owner of the art gallery, but I also did voice narration for the 2019 and 2020 public service announcements. Since then, this has motivated me to continue the work of the FEI and support this campaign because I believe the status employment of people with disabilities in this country has to change. I have just officially participated in the current popularization of this movement and it is a great honor for me to be an ambassador for this cause.
This campaign and work hold a special place in my heart. I am autistic and face the uncertainty of work even though I have a college degree and am highly qualified in my field. I struggled with verbal apraxia, anxiety, and delay in expressive language, all of which were very straightforward in the interview process for the job I was doing. I also struggled with the decision of whether or not to disclose my disability for fear of discrimination, because people often don’t understand that my disability doesn’t stop me from being a valued employee.
Fortunately I found my place in the entertainment industry and my acting career gives me a voice to support issues important to a society with disabilities. The opportunity to participate in the job promotion campaign for people with disabilities, especially for people with autism and neurodivergence, is an opportunity to participate in changes that can help many people like me, and I’m proud to be a part of it. On delivery of such notice required.
What do you consider to be the most important achievement of the organization?
I think getting the collaboration of so many organizations and their consent, that we have to focus on promoting the employment of people with disabilities, is in itself a great achievement. However, beyond that, I think a very significant achievement is the value that the EIF was able to deliver with this campaign. All of this work continues to engage the community in advocating for inclusion and equality and, as a person with a disability, is very encouraging to me.
A version of this story first appeared in the June 22 issue of The Gossipify. Click here to subscribe.
Source: Hollywood Reporter