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 !
Nic Novicki . Actor . Comedian . Producer 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 Novicki. I 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 Hollywood, California. 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 To Table of Contents 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 people with disabilities receive in all industries, including film, the closer the world will become to being more inclusive and welcoming for everyone.” 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. To Table of Contents