Michele Spitz of Woman of Her Word is a media producer, voiceover artist, public speaker, consultant and longtime philanthropist most passionate about advocating for media accessibility and disability inclusion and awareness. Michele is dedicated to selectively funding audio description in-kind post production accessibility grants to ensure that media content is equally accessible to low vision and blind audiences. She has 10 years experience of producing, narrating, consulting and project managing audio description assets for film, broadcast, digital media, film festivals, museums, exhibits, educational content, medical content, promotional and fundraising media. Woman of Her Word funds audio description production for a significant percentage of the 100+ hand selected media projects to date with which her company has chosen to be aligned. Michele promotes media accessibility awareness and audience inclusion through ongoing public speaking engagements, thought provoking panels and educational settings. For the past 4 years, she has taught the RespectAbility Audio Description Summer Lab for professionals with disabilities in media. Michele has guest lectured for NYU Tisch Film School, Emerson College Department of Visual and Media Arts, Montclair University Media & Disability Department and additional colleges. She will be expanding her guest lectures to additionally offer a focus on raising awareness of audience engagement and integration accommodating multiple communities and patrons.
A partial list of panels and presentations include the 2021 Sundance Film Festival Panel, Gotham, DOC NYC, IDA Getting Real ‘20 Conference, Film Independent, New York 55th and 60th Film Festivals, MVFF, ReelAbilities NY & LA Disability Film Festivals, Women in Film Los Angeles (WIF LA) and New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT). Michele has provided her media accessibility expertise for SAG-AFTRA, PBS, Film Festival Alliance, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and the upcoming SignLight International Film Festival. She is often called upon to participate as a presenter conducting media accessibility workshops and seminars for multiple film and media organizations. Michele was the catalyst having consulted with the Motion Picture Academy that resulted in the 1st ever Audio Described Broadcast of the 93rd Academy Awards. The Motion Picture Academy Archives along with the Academy Margaret Herrick Library will house Woman of Her Word’s personal audio described library of ongoing film content and select sample production materials for research and educational purposes.
Woman of Her Word was the first to initiate and fund British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) scholarships for graduate Feirstein film students with disabilities, implemented and funded the first finishing film media accessibility grant for WIF LA and has created the same grant annually for NYWIFT since 2015, instate and underwrite three years tuition for students with disabilities to attend the biannual American Council for the Blind Audio Description Institute, provides Audio Description Grants annually for ReelAbilities NY Film Festival since 2015, as well as fund assistive performing arts audience technology for multiple venues. She has annually produced the audio description for the Media Access Awards since 2019, making the virtual event platform equally accessible to visually impaired audiences. Michele was the co-chair for film accessibility for ReelAbilities LA 2022 Film Festival. She consulted with the 2021 SOVAS Awards helping align the first time ever audio description narration categories and curated and moderated an AD panel for their Career Expo. She is currently a member of EGA (Entertainment Globalization Association) and is active on their Accessibility Committee. Michele’s future endeavors aspire to design media accessibility impact campaign fellowships.
Michele is unique in that her boutique philanthropic/business model is dedicated to working very closely with every film client to enlist their participation and commitment in advocating and promoting their film production’s accessibility assets and furthermore advise on implementing and incorporating the audio description deliverables throughout all distribution and exhibition platforms for the shelf life of the film. For 6 years, Michele traveled extensively between San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York to ascertain and merge together East and West Coast media and cultural arts accessibility philosophies and methodologies. She will be expanding her travel to the UK periodically to further her research and experience in media and arts accessibility approaches.
Highlights of Michele’s multimedia portfolio include films such as Amy Poehler's Lucy & Desi Documentary, Carole King and James Taylor: Just Call Out My Name, The Great 14th: Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama in His Own Words, Pavarotti, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, Not Going Quietly and several exciting upcoming projects. Michele audio described exhibit and performance content for the 2021 and 2022 Pop-Up Magazine, The Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Museum Exhibit, The Senses: Beyond Vision and most recently audio described Magical Bridge Playground.
Woman of Her Word’s pledge is unwavering in the pursuit for inclusion in media and the arts; her presence is a unifying force resulting in equality for the communities that she serves. Michele’s press coverage includes The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Forbes, NBC and multiple other outlets.
"My life's work is my heart's work."
- Michele Spitz -