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Resources for Filmmakers


Accessible Filmmaking

The Film Event Accessibility Working Group’s Resource Addendum for Checklist, a living document updated annually featuring blogs, websites, vendors, and articles related to accessible practices in video and film

FWD-Doc’s Toolkit for Inclusion & Accessibility: Changing the Narrative of Disability in Documentary Film, covering everything from how to make films more accessible for audiences to how to make the filmmaking process more accessible to team members

Five pieces of advice from the International Documentary Association (IDA) on adding audio descriptions and captions to your work

StageTEXT’s free digital subtitling training

Matinee’s “Everything there is to know about subtitling & how it is done” with a great explanation of the difference between subtitles and closed captions

3Play Media’s Ultimate Guide To Closed Captioning

3Play Media’s Ultimate Guide to Audio Description

Shifting the Narrative on Disability

The Framework Institute’s MessageBrief on How to Talk about Disability and Human Rights

OpenGlobalRights’s Guide to Hope-based Communications

The Opportunity Agenda’s Shifting the Narrative, a six-part narrative research study that examines how activists were able to shift cultural thinking and policies on issues ranging from the death penalty to poverty

Global Investigative Journalism Network’s Reporting Guide to Investigating Disability Issues, highlighting what to investigate (deinstitutionalization, accessible and affordable housing, transportation access and more), sources and data to support investigations and best practices in language and interviewing

The Disability Language Style Guide by the National Center on Disability and Journalism, based out of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in the U.S.

Disability Writing and Journalism Guidelines by the Center for Disability Rights, a non-profit, community-based advocacy and service organization for people with disabilities in the U.S.

Reframing Disability, a biweekly dispatch that includes tips for moving away from the dominant disability narrative, newsroom inclusion strategies that work, explainers on accessibility, language and policy discussions, data resources, commendable disability coverage, opportunities for grants and fellowships and upcoming events

ABC Guide on Reporting and Portraying Disability, from how to arrange and conduct interviews to the ethical use of images

Media Trust’s Reframing Disability in News: How to Prepare for a Media Interview, a Guide for Disabled Interviewees

The Carter Center’s Guide on Reporting on Behavioral Health, from reporting on violence and suicide to using non-stigmatizing language

9-Step Plan for ‘Curb-Cutting’ Disability Access in India’s News and Newsrooms, an informative, thorough roadmap for any newsroom working toward inclusion

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Legal Support for Filmmakers

The Student Press Law Center’s Guide to Copyright-Safe Materials, including photos, music, and more (Note: while this page is geared toward student journalists in the U.S., most of the resources listed are available to students and non-students anywhere in the world.)

The Student Press Law Center’s Copyright and Fair Use FAQ, a useful guide to what is and isn’t copyright protected in the U.S. and other countries

Forms and Sample Documents from Stanford Law School (Scroll down to “artist support programs” to find grant and co-production agreements and more.)

Safety Guidelines for Filmmakers and Journalists

The “Journalist Security Guide: Covering the News in a Dangerous and Changing World” from the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide and defends the right of journalists to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal