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[Image ID: White text on blue background banner reading Nonfiction Access Initiative on the left hand side of the banner and on the right side: curved, circular objects that are intertwined with each other in dark blue, light green, and grey colors.]


The Nonfiction Access Initiative (NAI) is made possible through the generous support of the Ford Foundation with the goal of creating a scalable regrant fund for nonfiction storytellers and media makers from the disability community.

Nonfiction Access Initiative adopts the inclusive definition of disability put forward by IDA’s lead advising partner, FWD-Doc: “This is about identity, not rules to keep people in or out. This means physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, chronic health conditions, mental health,  blindness, low vision, D/deaf, and/or neurodiverse; we welcome visible disabilities, invisible disabilities, and everything in between. Do you identify as disabled? If the answer is yes, then that is all that matters.” 

For NAI  to be scalable, supporting nonfiction practitioners at different scales and across media, we must understand where and how nonfiction storytellers from the disability community are working, what their barriers of entry and sustainability are, and how we can best support their work. There are many questions to ask and realities to explore. To this end, IDA and its partner organizations will undertake an R&D period through June 2023 to gather information (through participant-led research) about the state of the field and shape NAI based on these learnings. 

Research Goals: Nonfiction Access Initiative (NAI)

  • Find out where and in what form nonfiction media makers from the disability community are working
  • Understand the needs (desires, hesitations, fears) of nonfiction media makers from the disability community
  • Understand the logistics (modes of administration, payment, and communication) that best suit nonfiction media makers from the disability community
  • Use the research process as a way to build community 
  • Use the research process as an opportunity to gather research that has already been done and to point people to it
  • Use the research process as a means through which to determine what longer-term research needs to be done

IDA is assembling an advisory committee that will guide the research and development process.  Our advisors are organizations from different sectors of the mediasphere working for disability justice and supporting practitioners from the disability community.  Our confirmed Advisory Committee members include AXS Film Fund, Morpheyes Studio, Leonardo CripTech Incubator, 1IN4 Coalition, United States Artists, and HELM (Cairo, Egypt).

Please contact for any questions about Nonfiction Access Initiative.

Program Interns

Ben Collier
Ben Collier headshot
Close up image of a white male with blonde hair and blue suit jacket. Standing in a garden with a smile.

Ben is a 4th year International Development Studies and Labor Studies Double Major at UCLA. He mainly grew up in Southern California in Hemet and Fullerton, but has also lived in Nierstein, Germany as a part of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange. From these experiences and interest in understanding people from various cultures, Ben has developed a passion to help ensure that those who don't receive enough representation can fully get the academic and institutional support to express themselves. As a disabled person himself, he holds the belief that this research on disabled filmmakers will help enlighten new policy decisions to make film sets a more accommodating environment for disabled people. Additionally, this will help propel them to share the stories that they believe are important, which ultimately serves to this goal.

Madison Gross
Madison Gross headshot.
A young, white woman in her 20s. She is smiling and wearing a button down blue and white top, with a chest pocket. Her hair is a little wavy and dirty-blonde. She is standing in front of a dark grey background.

Madison (she/her) is a hardworking and dedicated individual, currently interning for the International Documentary Association and studying Labor Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is from New York and has an interest in the film and sports industry, especially hockey. Madison aspires to develop a career in either industry with a focus on EDI and generating more accessibility. Madison strengthened her organization and time management skills through an extensive and collaborative research project where she edited and established a Wikipedia site about women’s rights advocate, Alicia Moreau de Justo.