Leading with Accessibility in Mind at Disneyland Park
Erin has been with The Walt Disney Company for 19 years and uses her life experience as a person with a disability to help inform and influence accessibility for Disneyland Park. As an Accessibility Manager, Erin applies what she learns from others in the community to round out her knowledge and expertise.
What are you most looking forward to during Disability Pride Month?
I am looking forward to the external speakers we are bringing in to speak with our cast, crew, Imagineers, and employees. It is the first time we have invited well-known speakers in the disability community to come to share their stories with such a wide audience.
What do you find most rewarding about your experience as a Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) member?
Open representation of employees with disabilities is still very limited because there are a lot of negative stigmas still associated with being disabled. By participating in BERG leadership, we are able to help break through those stigmas to help to build the next generation of cast and leaders through empowerment and education. The next generation will be better because of the awareness the BERGs are raising today. Knowing that the next cast member with a disability might not experience the same challenges I did, makes all the effort well worth it.
What does a reimagined tomorrow look like for you?
A reimagined tomorrow looks like a world without barriers. Where each of us can bring our authentic whole-self to work and know that we will be welcomed and accepted. Where we each have equal access to participate fully in anything we want to do, instead of relying on the goodness of others to make things accessible.
Why is innovation so important when it comes to Disney’s stories?
By being innovative, we are able to better represent our communities today. The world is a different place than when Walt Disney first started creating shorts. Innovation will keep our storytelling relevant for generations to come
How does your team put the audience first when it comes to your work?
We think about how they would experience the park. When there is a new offering, we pause and ask ourselves questions from their perspective. For example, when working on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, we asked would a person with a visual disability understand the magnitude of standing below the Millennium Falcon or how would they understand how to build a droid? Then we validate our ideas with members of the disability community and do our best to consistently deliver that type of experience.
You could work for any company in the world… so why Disney?
I believe in the brand and what we are trying to share with the world. While we might not get it right every time we are constantly innovating and pushing ourselves to do and be better. I like to know that I am part of that change.
by Disney Career Recruitment