Online Resources for Disabled and Neurodiverse Talent
At Kello Inclusive, we are pioneering a remarkable change in the world of talent representation. We proudly stand as Canada's inaugural, exclusively inclusive talent agency, dedicated to championing disabled and neurodiverse talent.
Kello's journey began with a deeply personal motivation, driven by the experiences of my daughter, Kelty. After getting her into the world of modelling, it became evident how unfamiliar the fashion and marketing industries were with models with differences. Equally scarce was the presence of respectful, tasteful, and professional representation of people with disabilities.
Recognizing the power of equitable representation and inclusion, we embarked on a journey that would forever change the landscape. In June 2022, we established Kello Inclusive as a nationally incorporated, not-for-profit talent agency, exclusively promoting disabled and neurodiverse talent.
The transformation from inception to our present has been nothing short of remarkable. What started as a response to an unmet need has rapidly evolved into a force for positive change; in just over a year, we have welcomed over 150 disabled talent onto our Kello roster and have collaborated with over 60 brand names including Lego, Lancome, WestJet and Lululemon.
That said, most of our roster still does not have the skills required to book scripted work in the film/television industry. This is not because they do not have the talent, but because people with disabilities encounter systematic barriers that limit their access to equitable training, opportunities, and career advancement.
So, with the help of Field Law, we want to create a free, online resource accessible to anyone (PwD or industry professionals) who wish to learn industry basics related to the auditioning process because there is a distinct lack of specialized training designed specifically for disabled individuals.
Furthermore, in the training we have completed on a small scale using Field Law's generous contribution of $5000 from last year's Community Fund, we’ve seen a direct link between that and booking large scale work for our local Edmonton talent with Walmart, Walgreens, and a leading role in a feature Hallmark film.
In short, the training resource we want to create will support participants’ career trajectories by tackling the most common barriers to entry that we and other industry professionals have come across.
Who Will it Benefit?
This project directly benefits Persons with Disabilities (PwD) who have already entered or who aim to enter and sustain careers in the entertainment industry.
Our resource will enhance basic industry skills in the context of disability in order to increase representation and open doors to broader casting opportunities. Our goal is to empower PwD to overcome barriers, achieve career advancements, and contribute their unique talents to the entertainment industry.
In addition, this resource also benefits the entertainment industry as a whole, as well as all Canadians - both disabled and non-disabled - as we work to normalize disability in media, generate social change, and break systemic barriers that prevent true inclusion.
Finally, local Clients, Casting Directors, Production Companies and Marketing Agencies who want to be more inclusive have had challenges in doing so due to lack of access to trained, disabled talent. Our resource will help remove this barrier.