ESSC Launches 2021 Disability Inclusion Campaign We Are the 25% Challenging the Public to ‘Change the Way You See Disability’
With a Goal of 100% Inclusion, Awareness Campaign Aims to Create Social Change For the 1-in-4 Americans Who Have a Disability
Learn More at www.WeAreThe25.org #WeAreThe25%
IRVINE/LOS ANGELES — May 10, 2021 — For Immediate Release: Easterseals Southern California (ESSC)—which assists more than 14,000 people with disabilities in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties—has launched an updated public awareness campaign, We Are the 25%.
Using last year’s highly successful disability voter awareness theme as a springboard, the campaign highlights the need for disability inclusion for 25 percent of U.S. residents, more than 61 million people across the country who have a disability, according to the CDC. Of those, 23 percent live in California (more than 9 million), nearly 5.5 million of them in SoCal.
The multi-faceted campaign features southern California residents who receive services from ESSC and the voice over talents of award-winning writer/producer and actor Diana Romero (Octavia Spencer’s Truth Be Told, Niña Quebrada, Sold), who has a disability. The campaign challenges people to reconsider how they view people with disabilities, proclaiming, We are the 25% … And want to be 100% included.
Said Romero, a noted activist for diversity and inclusion in Hollywood, “My entire life was as a physically-abled person. When I began using a wheelchair three years ago because of multiple sclerosis, it came with the realization that people with disabilities are often overlooked and misrepresented. Seeing people with disabilities on TV and in film informs others what we are all about. People sit in chairs all day long, so I’m not doing anything any different than anyone else, yet I find I am viewed differently. We need to be seen and heard. We deserve accessibility, fair representation and 100% inclusion! The Easterseals campaign is beautiful. It shows people with disabilities doing what people everywhere do. It is so important to educate us all. I am proud to use my voice and happy to see that the narrative on disability is changing in society and in media.”
Commented Mark Whitley, president & CEO of ESSC, “The campaign asks people to practice inclusion in their daily lives. It’s all about accepting everyone 100% for who they are. People with disabilities are our neighbors, co-workers, classmates, family members and, like you, deserve greater equity, opportunity and belonging in our communities.”
Launching today (May 10), the campaign, using the hashtag #WeAreThe25%, will continue to roll out over the course of 2021. It encompasses online ads, including placements on streaming platforms that feature films and television shows, and social media.
Watch the PSA: https://youtu.be/Nic7OfJ6GnY
Learn more at: www.WeAreThe25.org
The campaign was conceptualized and developed under the pro-bono direction of the Los Angeles office of global advertising agency ELA. Said ELA CEO and ESSC Board Chair Andre Filip, “Many people are unaware of how many Americans have a disability. When we learned that 25% of U.S. residents have a disability, we felt it was our duty to be very direct in our messaging while bringing awareness to our bigger goal, disability inclusion. We want to Change the Way People See Disability and this campaign is another powerful way to raise awareness and get us closer to a more inclusive future.”
Founded in 2004 by CEO Andre Filip, ELA (“Everything LA”) is a full-service, global creative ad agency headquartered in Los Angeles. ELA’s work spans a variety of capabilities including advertising, strategy, planning, brand design, digital, social, experiential, production, events and influencer marketing. Clients include TikTok, Disney, Easterseals, PepsiCo, Thermador, Western Digital and more. For more information, visit https://www.ela1.com and @elaadvertising
About Easterseals Southern California
For more than 100 years, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for people and families living with developmental disabilities or other special needs. The services provided by Easterseals Southern California (ESSC)—in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties—make profound and positive differences in people’s lives every day, helping them address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals so that they can live, learn, work and play in our communities. With nearly 2,800 employees, 60+ service sites and hundreds of community partnership locations, each year ESSC assists more than 14,000 people, providing adult/senior day services; autism therapy; child development/early education; employment services; veteran employment support; independent living options; and more.
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