Ablevision is a U.S. television program, based in Boston, Massachusetts, created by adults who are physically and mentally-challenged. They perform all the jobs in front of and behind the cameras.
Our mission is about "exposing people with disabilities to a mainstream audience and showing that we're all people with abilities," says Alisa Brugnoli, a former video editor at a Boston commercial television station who started working with Ablevision five years ago and is the program's chief producer. Brugnoli says, "This experience helps developmentally-challenged people to view themselves as successful. A lot of them haven't been able to do that in the past."
The award-winning Ablevision is seen in more than 50 communities in Massachusetts and other states, as well as online at www.ablevision.org. Programs cover all sorts of events and stories. When American actor and comedian Kevin James was filming his latest movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop in the Boston area, an Ablevision crew produced a series of reports, including extensive interviews with James.<!-- IMAGE -->
Ablevision was started in 2003 and now has a crew of more than 60 people ranging in age from 22 to 74. "We have a participant who's blind," says Brugnoli. "She can't run the cameras, so she does the interviewing, like the ones with Kevin James." Brugnoli also said there are Ablevision crew members who cannot talk, so they have jobs behind the cameras.
Organizers say their current focus is on expanding Ablevision's national audience because they believe there is a real need for the program. Brugnoli says, "One in six Americans has a disability and yet there's no programming for them at all. Ablevision, I feel, really fills that void in that we're offering quality programs that are entertaining and educational, and show people with disabilities are anything but disabled."