Mélange Accessibility for All Magazine October 2020 | Page 116
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welcome area , there are escalators and elevators and the lines move quickly . After you arrive on the next level you must purchase a ticket for the cable car ride to the top . If you have a disability , there is a special ticket counter to purchase your ticket but it is very crowded and directional signage is difficult to find . For the very brave , you do have the option to hike very steep and narrow trails to the top . We took an elevator to the cable car entrance . Each car fits about 50 people . Space is a premium but anyone with a disability is given priority boarding and moving from the platform to the cable car is level and safe .
Ascending Masada in the cable car was breathtaking ! The jagged rocks that form the foundation of Masada seem so close you could touch them , and the Dead Sea and Jordan were clearly visible . We reached our stop in just a few minutes . Once you exit the cable car you follow a wooden pathway built on the side of the mountain up to an archway carved into the rock . As you move through the archway you are taken onto a somewhat paved pathway covered in small gravel . A little tricky possibly , so be careful .
From there , hiking on the pathway to the top takes some time , some energy , and maybe a little help . Thank goodness I had back-up with my tour mates . They certainly got their aerobic exercise as we pushed hard to the summit . Once there , it was well worth it ! We were literally standing on ancient ruins of the Palace of Herod in the Judean Desert ! You can see for miles in every direction and for those who know and embrace this historically important place , I have to admit , they , like me , would need to close their eyes for a few minutes and imagine what it was like to have lived back when Masada was built . It is believed that Herod built Masada over a ten-year period using palms from the valley that helped to form a giant ramp from the ground to the top of the mountain .
We spent a couple of hours touring the mountain and then ate lunch in the cafeteria-style restaurant on site . There is also a very large gift and souvenir shop with many different items for sale , including plenty of beauty and health items from the Dead Sea . You can navigate most of the sites on Masada by using the paved pathways with caution as some are very steep . There are a number of areas that are not easily accessible and others that can be reached with some help . When coming to Israel , Masada is definitely a place you must visit .
We left Masada and then ventured to Ein Gedi for a quick drive through to see the David Canyon Nature Reserve and then drove on to a hostel just north of Ein Gedi . We stopped for a quick tour of the facility which overlooks the Dead Sea . The manager told us there were 18 fully accessible rooms , accessible dining hall , and grounds . A beautiful , accessible property !
n the complex world of Hollywood,
success is not guaranteed,
especially so if you are a person
with a disability. But one of the few
who have been able to achieve
that sometimes-elusive success, is
Nic attended the American Academy
of Dramatic Arts, the school of Film and
Television, UCB Theatre, and Temple
University’s Fox School of Business. He is an
actor, comedian and producer, residing in
NIC WANTS . . .
To do as much as he can to create more
opportunities for people with disabilities
Standing at three-feet ten inches, Nic admits
breaking into the film industry was not easy.
He found it difficult to get an agent early
in his career and when he did, he was only
given opportunities that were specific to his
height. He then made a decision to create as
much content for himself as possible, which
he did, and it proved successful.
Nic shared: “I started acting and doing
stand-up comedy in 2001, so I’ve been in
the entertainment business for almost 20
years. I have performed all over the world as
a comedian and done countless shows and
speeches. I’ve also worked in virtually every
position available in terms of my career as an
independent producer. When you work as an
independent producer you also learn how to
do almost everything on set due to the lack
of resources.” He now has an impressive list
of career accomplishments, having to date
been in over forty TV shows and movies.
As a stand-up comedian, Nic has performed
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on AXS Gotham Comedy Live and travelled the
world, including doing several tours through
Armed Forces Entertainment, performing for
troops in Kosovo, England, Belgium, Germany,
Netherlands, France. Egypt, Turkey, Jordan,
Portugal and Spain. He has performed on six
continents and as an actor, starred in notable
shows like The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, and
The Good Doctor, among many others.
He has produced several feature films,
television pilots and web series for companies
including Sony, CBS, Air China, Maxim and
Universal. Nic is an active member of the
Producers Guild of America’s Diversity Committee
and is also dedicated to helping others with
disabilities achieve success in film.
Recognizing that of the 57 million Americans
with disabilities, this demographic is still the
most under-represented in entertainment and
media both in front of and behind the camera,
Nic launched the Film Challenge in 2013 aimed
at giving aspiring filmmakers the opportunity
to showcase their work and provide them with
NIC BELIEVES . . .
“the more exposure
in all industries,
including film, the
closer the world will
become to being
and welcoming for
meaningful exposure. It was hugely successful
and in 2017, Nic joined forces with Easterseals
of Southern California – the nation’s leading
nonprofit in the United States supporting
people and families with disabilities – to
expand the event which is now known as the
Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.
During the Challenge, registered filmmakers –
with and without disabilities – are given a span
of 55 hours over a designated weekend to write
and produce short films (three-to-five minutes)
that Help Change the Way We View Disability.
Films are judged by a noted and diverse
group of entertainment industry talent. Award
categories are Best Film, Best Filmmaker, Best
Actor and Best Awareness Campaign.
Since the Challenge launched in 2013, aspiring
filmmakers from around the world have created
more than 150 films which have been viewed
online and at festivals.
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