FilmAcademy hosted a very special event in early April, inviting the public to be part of a video production directed by its students. Those taking part in the hands-on, interactive experience worked side-by-side with young adults on the spectrum and learned about their remarkable abilities.

The film academy, a program of Spectrum360, helps young adults with autism learn important pre-career skills to foster employment opportunities. It also represents a public facing awareness and acceptance campaign by showing these young adults in a positive way on YouTube and other social media.

The evening’s activities began with a presentation about the academy and its students, and then the fun began. Using hand-held cameras, microphones, teleprompters and more, attendees collaborated with students to create a short script which they then filmed together in the academy’s studio.

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The event was organized by the film academy in conjunction with DisabilityIN, a nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Their organization network consists of over 500 corporations who help expand opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises.

Representatives of DisabilityIN’s partners in New Jersey from Novartis, Bristol Meyers Squibb and Dell all participated in the event, and enjoyed the full experience of getting to know our students while also creating valuable memories.

An inspiring celebration of inclusion, the event was attended by Paul Aronsohn, New Jersey’s Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families. Also in attendance was Ken Berger, Spectrum360’s CEO/Executive Director; David Diianni, Director of FilmAcademy360; and Kerry Guzman, Director of Development. The event’s aim was to demonstrate the potential for FilmAcademy360 students to work in the attendees’ organizations. And also to encourage the public to embrace and implement the diverse ideas, gifts, talents and contributions of those around us.

To learn more about FilmAcademy360 and its programs, visit