Overview

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 funds@documentary.org for any questions about Nonfiction Access Initiative and how to get involved.