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Disney's Magic of Storytelling Features Actresses With Disabilities

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Talent From the Walt Disney Company Bring the Magic of Storytelling to Next Generation of Storytellers

After launching a new campaign to inspire the love of reading featuring a diverse group of talent from across the Disney family, Disney is shining the spotlight on two actresses with disabilities who are reading Disney books.

This is important, as almost seven million children in America have a disability; to see readers with disabilities represented in this campaign gives children with disabilities the confidence they can be part of the next generation of storytellers.

Kayla Cromer (Freeform’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay”), who is a neurodiverse actress and activist with ADD, dyslexia and dyscalculia, reads “Snow Day for Groot,” a Marvel property about the importance of friendship.

Shaylee Mansfield (Disney Channel’s “Bunk’D” and Disney+’s “Noelle”), who is a Deaf YouTuber turned actress, reads “Ride the Waves,” a Lilo and Stitch story.

By participating in this campaign, Cromer and Mansfield are empowering youth with disabilities to tell their own stories by serving as role models. Furthermore, the campaign’s PSA is voiced by Whoopi Goldberg, who herself has dyslexia, a common learning disability. Cromer and Mansfield join the ranks of Goldberg, Kelly Ripa, Ryan Seacrest and Angelica Ross, all of whom are reading books as part of virtual storytimes during this campaign.

“I am honored to be part of a campaign that brings books to children all over the country,” Mansfield said. “The fact that Disney asked me to tell a story in my own language is even more special to me. ASL is one of the many ways these magical stories can be shared.”

All videos are captioned to ensure more access for those who are deaf and hard of hearing. Mansfield’s video shows her communicating in ASL, with a voiceover for people unable to read and those who have low vision. Following best practice, the voiceover artist is someone that her family chose and her ASL interpreter was present at the voiceover record session to ensure that the signs, voiceover and captions are all timed correctly.

In addition to producing these virtual storytimes, Disney Publishing Worldwide has donated millions of books to First Book, a nonprofit organization that puts new books and educational resources into the hands of educators who serve children from underserved communities throughout the U.S.

New videos will be posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at, as well as on Disney social media platforms, through March 31, 2021. Find virtual storytimes, donate books or register to get access to free and low-cost books and resources for the children you serve.

Image via Twitter.

Originally published: March 19, 2021
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