Through Woman of Her Word, Michele Spitz produces audio description assets as a post production in kind grant for the NYWIFT Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness Grant films. This grant allows for the films selected to be made accessible for the low vision and blind audiences.
Michele Spitz of Woman of Her Word is a media producer, voiceover artist, public speaker, and long time philanthropist most passionate about advocating for media accessibility and disability inclusion and awareness. Michele is dedicated to selectively funding audio description post production accessibility grants to ensure that media content is equally accessible to low vision and blind audiences. She has 8 years experience of producing, narrating, consulting, and project managing audio description assets for film, broadcast, digital media, film festivals, museums, educational content, promotional and fundraising media. Woman of Her Word funds audio description production for a significant percentage of the 80+ hand selected media projects to date with which her company has chosen to be aligned. Michele promotes media accessibility awareness and audience inclusion through ongoing public speaking engagements, thought provoking panels and educational settings.
Michele will be guest lecturing on audio description this Fall in the Film Department at NY Tisch and participating in a webinar for Emerson College Film Department. She will be guest lecturing in the Disability in Media Department at Montclair University, as well as teach an audio description advocacy course in their Communications and Media Department in Fall 2022. She has taught the Respectability Summer Lab on audio description for the past 3 years for students with disabilities in media.
A partial list of panels and presentations include the 2021 Sundance Film Festival Panel, Gotham, DOC NYC, IDA Getting Real ‘20 Conference, Film Independent, New York Film Festival, MVFF, ReelAbilities NY & LA Disability Film Festivals, Women in Film Los Angeles (WIF LA), SAG-AFTRA LA, New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT), Diamond, PBS and Keynote Speaker for Women in Tech Hollywood. Michele is often called upon to participate as a presenter conducting media accessibility workshops, seminars for multiple film and media organizations. Michele was the impetus consulting with the Motion Picture Academy that resulted in the 1st ever Audio Described Broadcast of the 93rd Academy Awards. The Motion Picture Academy Archives along with the Academy Margaret Herrick Library will house Woman of Her Word’s personal audio described library of ongoing film content and select sample production materials for research and educational purposes.
Woman of Her Word was the first to initiate and fund British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) scholarships for graduate film students with disabilities, originate and fund annual finishing film media accessibility grants for NYWIFT and WIF LA, instate and underwrite tuition for students with disabilities to attend the biannual American Council for the Blind Audio Description Institute, as well as fund assistive performing arts audience technology. She produced and narrated the audio description for the 41st and the upcoming 42nd Media Access Awards ceremony making the virtual event platform equally accessible to visually impaired audiences. She consulted with the upcoming 2021 SOVAS Awards helping align the first time ever audio description narration categories and will also be curating and moderating an AD panel for their Career Expo. Michele’s forthcoming endeavors aspire to design media accessibility impact campaign fellowships.
Michele is unique in that she is committed to working very closely with every film client to enlist their participation in advocating and promoting their film production’s accessibility assets and furthermore advise on implementing and incorporating the audio description deliverables throughout all distribution and exhibition platforms for the shelf life of the film. For 8 years, Michele has traveled extensively between San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York to ascertain and merge together East and West Coast media and cultural arts accessibility philosophies and methodologies. In 2022, she will be expanding her travel to the UK periodically to further her research and experience in media and arts accessibility approaches.
A handful of highlights of Michele’s multi media portfolio include films such as Dealt, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama in His Own Words, Pavarotti and The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart and The Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Museum Exhibit, The Senses: Beyond Vision.
Woman of Her Word’s pledge is unwavering in the pursuit for inclusion in media and the arts. Michele’s very presence is a unifying force which results in equality for the communities that she serves.
Michele’s press coverage and interviews include The Hollywood Reporter, Variety Magazine, SF Chronicle, NBC and many others.
“My life’s work is my heart’s work.”
Learn more at www.womanofherword.com
How to Apply
The Woman of Her Word Audio Description Grant is provided to recipients of the Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness Grant. Apply for the Loreen Arbus Grant.