Kello Inclusive – An Exclusively Inclusive Talent Agency Representing Disabled & Neurodiverse Talent
We are Canada's first inclusive talent agency that exclusively represents and advocates for disabled and neurodiverse talent. Here is our backstory …
A few years ago, after getting our disabled daughter Kelty involved in modeling, her father Austin and I quickly discovered how unaccustomed the fashion & marketing world was to working with people like Kelty and how rare it was to see fair, tasteful, and professional representation of people with disabilities. Recognizing the importance of a world where the beauty of disability is represented fairly and fully, this past spring (June 2022) we started Canada's first fully inclusive, nationally incorporated, not-for-profit talent agency - Kello Inclusive - that exclusively represents, promotes, and advocates for disabled and neurodiverse talent.
More specifically, our idea for how Field Law can support Kello Inclusive’s growth and directly impact our local community is two-fold:
Firstly, we would like to fund & coordinate 5 professional photoshoots with local Edmonton businesses who value inclusion and diversity, but do not necessarily know how to find inclusive talent, nor do they have the budget to cover the costs associated with professional marketing material. To date, we have personally funded photoshoots of this nature with local businesses including Barber Ha, Kind Ice Cream, and Track N’ Trail, and have been able to see firsthand how valuable the experience was for everyone involved - our talent gains much needed industry experience, local Edmonton businesses gain professional & inclusive marketing materials, and Edmontonians gain increased exposure to fair, inclusive imagery - a win-win-win!
Secondly, a major barrier to entry for the folks we represent has been the upfront cost of getting the professional headshots needed to pursue work in this industry. So, with the support of Field Law, we would also like to fund & coordinate 10 headshot sessions with Tilly Nelson - a Vancouver based photographer who has international experience working with disabled talent (specific experience that is difficult to come by) - for disabled individuals new to the industry who otherwise would not be able to pursue this type of work.
Who Will it Benefit?
On a large scale - the goal of our agency is to benefit everyone as we work to change social attitudes towards disability, diversity, inclusion, and fair representation. As mentioned, Kello Inclusive’s mission is twofold: 1) to ensure brands and companies realize how important it is to include disabled talent in their marketing material, and 2) to allow disabled people to feel like work in the industry is a viable, sought-after, and important career path.
More specifically, the funds requested will directly benefit 5 local businesses in getting professional & inclusive marketing materials, as well as benefiting 10 new people to the industry by removing two significant barriers to entry 1) the opportunity to gain industry experience, and 2) the opportunity to have professional headshots done by a photographer with specific experience photographing disabled talent.
NOTE: In the TV, film & fashion industry, high-quality professional headshots & previous experience are a necessity, but have become a significant barrier to entry for the talent we represent because, to date, disability has been an extremely underestimated and underrepresented group. In short, the cycle of underrepresentation is easily perpetuated because disabled individuals do not see this type of work as a viable career, so companies are not able to have fully inclusive marketing materials, so the public is underexposed to this particular minority group … and thus the cycle continues …