Actors

Katie Leclerc — ABC Family Star on Ménière’s Disease

Circa 2011 As star of the ABC Family series Switched at Birth, actress Katie Leclerc calls upon her own fluctuating hearing loss to infuse her role with a dash of reality. She plays Daphne Vasquez, a deaf teen who meets the family she never knew she had, and gets to share the screen with ... Read more

“What?” — An interview with John Maucere

John Maucere deaf actor, comedian and film maker, known for “No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie”, just celebrated his latest project called “What?” This is Maucere’s latest movie! Wait, what? Yes, “What?” The name of the movie. The movie is modeled after the slapstick silent films of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. “What?” takes ... Read more

Sheila Houlahan — an Indian-American actor, singer, producer, writer and mental health advocate

Sheila Houlahan, is an Indian-American actor, singer, producer and writer who recently played a supporting role in Warner Bros.’ “The Little Things” with co-stars Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, and Jared Leto. Houlahan had leading roles in “Beloved Beast”, a Lionsgate film in which she played the older version of leading character Nina, and “Wallflower”, ... Read more

Jennifer Goodman – Actor, Producer, Autism Activist, and Collaborator Ryan Atkins

Jennifer Goodman Karum is shifting perceptions of people with disabilities in entertainment. Goodman, an autistic actress, writer, producer and creator, collaborated with Ryan Atkins, himself a producer and creator, to found Lakefront Pictures. This Chicago-based production studio aims to amplify unheard voices. In their work, diversity and disability are evident in the talent, both on ... Read more

Jameela Jamil: Advocate First, Actress Second

Jameela Jamil, known in the UK as a TV and radio presenter, gained popularity in the US for her role as Tahani Al-Jamil in NBC’s The Good Place. In disability circles, she is recognized as an advocate for disability rights, LGBTQ rights, body neutrality, and her work around social justice. Jamil lives with several chronic ... Read more

CJ Jones — comedian, actor, writer, director, producer

? For the entire world, 2020 brought new challenges. For CJ Jones, 2020 brought opportunity to live his passion. Having a decades long career as a deaf comedian, actor, entertainer, writer, director and producer, Jones is using his wealth of knowledge and experience in the entertainment industry to give back. He’s seen the need for ... Read more

Howie Mandel Interview

Jun/Jul 2011 Howie Mandel may be fashionably bald now, but as a teenager he brushed his hair in the girl’s bathroom (where we met his future wife), used a blacklight to scour his room for germs, and took thousands of showers, owing to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Today Mandel says his off-kilter adolescence helped pave ... Read more

John Lawson — Actor, Pilot, Scuba Instructor and Advocate

What do pumping gas and painting water towers have in common? Neither are glamorous exertions, and neither rise to the occasion of being called an aspiration. Both are a means to an end- a task to be accomplished so that something else, maybe something great, can happen. In the world of John Lawson, both of ... Read more

Toby Forrest — the Man

In 2010, ABILITY Magazine interviewed Tobias Forrest. The article started: “I was twenty-two, and I was diving off of a waterfall in the Grand Canyon,” Forrest said. “The water was too shallow where I had jumped, I shattered my fifth vertebrae—and I realized I was going under. I thanked God for my life, and ... Read more

The Peanut Butter Falcon — Actor Zack Gottsagen & Advocate Shelley Gottsagen

An actor with disabilities is born to a disability rights activist. It seems like a far-fetched Hollywood script, but, in reality, it’s 100% true. Meet the Gottsagen—Zack whose breakout role in Peanut Butter Falcon has put him on the map and his mother, Shelley, whose activism for disability rights predates her son. ABILITY Magazine ... Read more