We’ve heard things like this before, coming out of the BBC: as part of the international day for people with disabilities, it is now promising to increase it’s on-screen representation of people with disabilities. To be fair, while I have noticed a few more disabled people on the box, it is still nowhere near enough: a few more wheelchair users here and there, but sill no real portrayals of what life is like for people like me. Where are the communication aid users? Where are the guys with Muscular Dystrophy?
As the article points out, one in five people have a disability, yet we get nowhere near that level of representation on television, or indeed across the media. I’ve been saying this for years, since I first started blogging: increased media representation, as well as accurate portrayal of people with disabilities is one of the most effective ways of breaking down the barriers ‘we’ face. Being disabled, having a disability of whatever kind, still has a social stigma associated with it; equal and accurate portrayal in the media is one of the chief ways of breaking that stigma down. Thus, while this announcement from the BBC is to be welcomed, given we’ve heard such announcements before yet seen so little actual progress, it’s a case of “I’ll believe it when I see it.”