Joey Travolta Film Opens Doors For Adults With Disabilities
by Thomas Forester
MANGONIA PARK (CBS12) — It’s called “Lights, Camera, Independence,” a film produced by Joey Travolta.
It follows the crew of six autistic individuals hired as part of a film crew that travels across the country to work in summer film camps. Travolta says it’s an opportunity that adults with developmental disabilities never get.
“They got paid, they got per diem. They got to apply what they learned at the workshops in a real-life filming situation,” said Travolta, a former special education teacher.
Students learned from the ground up. From building movie sets, to working the camera, editing, writing producing and acting.
Travolta believes this immersion education leaves a lifelong impact.
“I have to hire people to work those positions and, if someone can do that, if I have a choice between some with a disability and someone without, I’m going to give someone with a disability a shot.”
Michelle Rubin, a Boca Raton mother and founder of “Autism After 21,” has been waiting to hear something like this for years.
Her son has autism and she hopes this film will help open doors.
“I think one of the most important things this has really done for a lot of people. It’s changed their minds a little about what it means to have a person with autism or special-needs in the workplace.”
As for the future, Travolta is about to start partnerships with professional teams.
“We’re doing a program with the NBA Cares, we’re going to go in and do a story for Autism Month. We shot it and we will show what people with Autism can do.”