Delivering Jobs, a program to open up career opportunities for people with autism, intellectual, and/or developmental challenges, was started by the Entertainment Industry Foundation in 2020. Actress and director Tal Anderson, who has autism, spoke to THR on the occasion of EIF’s 80th anniversary.
What inspired you to participate in Delivering Jobs?
Initially, I was requested to take part in the 2019 Delivering Jobs campaign as an actor. A PSA, a print ad, and a Times Square digital billboard explosion were all part of the extensive campaign. I voiced the narration for both the 2019 and 2020 PSAs in addition to having a major role as an owner of an art gallery. Since then, I’ve been inspired to continue the EIF’s work and this campaign on my own because I think the nation needs to reform how disabled people are treated in the workplace. I recently took on a formal role in the continued development of this movement, and I consider it an enormous honor to represent it.
I hold a special place in my heart for this cause and effort. Despite having a college degree and extensive experience in my area, I have suffered employment instability because I am autistic. I’ve battled verbal apraxia, nervousness, and delayed expressive language, all of which have made it very challenging for me to succeed in interviews for occupations I’ve been trained to accomplish. Because most people don’t realize that my condition doesn’t prevent me from becoming a productive employee, I’ve also debated whether or not to disclose it for fear of discrimination.
Thankfully, I found my niche in the entertainment business, and I can now advocate for issues that are crucial to the disabled community thanks to my work as an actor. I have the opportunity to contribute to change that could benefit many individuals like myself by taking part in a campaign to promote employment for handicapped people, and particularly for autistic and neurodivergent people. I’m delighted to be a little part of delivering such an important message.
What do you think the company’s greatest successes are?
It is already a significant accomplishment, in my opinion, to have the cooperation of so many groups and to have them all agree that it is important to promote employment for those with disabilities. Aside from that, I believe the amount of attention the EIF was able to gain through its Delivering Jobs campaign is a really significant accomplishment. As a disabled person, I find it incredibly encouraging that all of this work keeps encouraging the public to promote inclusion and equality.
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