Promoting Inclusion in the Media
GADIM – OUR PURPOSE
The Facts – Disability and the Media
GADIM and Article 8 of the CRPD
What we want to do
HOW CAN YOU OR YOUR ORGANISATION HELP THE MEDIA TO PROMOTE INCLUSION?
Reach out and work with the Media
Educate the next generation of media participants
Lobby and educate Government and Legislators
Shape the next generation
Educate your community
Check our website
Media & D i s a b i l i t y
GADIM – OUR PURPOSE
“Nothing without people with disabilities”
Simi Linton, activist and author of My Body Politic.
The Facts – Disability and the Media
- PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY COMPRISE THE LARGEST GLOBAL MINORITY GROUP.
There are more than 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide.
More than 80% of people with disability live in developing countries.
- PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY ARE ALMOST INVISIBLE IN MEDIA, CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT.
Less than 1% of characters on TV have a disability (GLAAD Report 2015).
95% of characters with disability are played by non-disabled actors (Ruderman White Paper 2016).
- GENERALLY, THE FOCUS OF THE PORTRAYAL OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY IS ON THE DISABILITY, RATHER THAN ON THE PERSON AS AN INDIVIDUAL – REINFORCING STIGMA, STEREOTYPES AND ABLEISM.
Ableism is to disability what racism is to race. It is the notion that people with disability are less because they have a disability. It is a form of societal prejudice that results in marginalization and discrimination.
People with disability are often portrayed as objects of pity and burdens on their families and society.
Alternatively, people with disability are portrayed as “inspirational” for “overcoming” their disability to live a “normal” or “able-bodied and able-minded” life.
People with disability are rarely portrayed as people in their own right with their own worthwhile story.
GADIM and Article 8 of the CRPD UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Article 8 requires:
State Parties to adopt immediate, effective and appropriate measures:
- To raise awareness throughout society, including at the family level, regarding persons with disabilities, and to foster respect for the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities;
- To combat stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices relating to persons with disabilities, including those based on sex and age, in all areas of life;To promote awareness of the capabilities and contributions of persons with disabilities.Those measures include encouraging all organs of the media to portray persons with disabilities in a manner consistent with the purpose of the CRPD.
GADIM is a global project platform with the aim of encouraging engagement with all forms of mass-reach media and entertainment to:
- increase the presence and improve the authenticity and quality of portrayal of people with disability, consistently with the purposes of the CRPD; and promote inclusion of people with disability in society and the full realization of and respect for their human rights.Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Disability Alliance (IDA).
Together, we seek to empower persons with disabilities and allied organizations and individuals by providing them with tools to advocate for the realization and fulfillment of their rights, as recognized by the CRPD.
- What we want to do share a mission of promoting human rights in general and specifically the rights of people with disability; and < >have agreed to work collaboratively towards that mission by adopting an aligned strategy in relation to the media, recognizing its potential to shape cultural attitudes and perspectives in accordance with shared principles.
HOW CAN YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION HELP THE MEDIA TO PROMOTE INCLUSION?
There is a lot you can do without significant resources to promote inclusion in the media in your country, from networking to advocacy and social media presence. According to our experience, people are generally open to the idea of inclusion. They often just haven’t recognized or thought about it. And it is our mission to make them start thinking.
There are more and more initiatives that are managing to break ground by just asking the simplest questions :
“Why don’t you provide the perspective of a person with disability?
“Why don’t you include a model, character or actor with disability?”
And when the response is that “I’m not comfortable with seeking the disability-angle” or “it is not easy to find ‘talent’ with disability”, it is also our job to prove those views wrong and to help the media to ask the right questions and to look in the right places.
We are about ensuring that society is given full opportunity to see and listen to people with disability as part of mainstream media and entertainment – and through that exposure to disability perspectives to change cultural attitudes to disability and promote inclusion.
Mass media has great potential to accelerate inclusion.
Engaging and working with the media is critical to inclusion, not incidental or optional.
People with disabilities belong. And they belong everywhere.
SO WHAT CAN YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION DO TO HELP?
- Get organized
It is more about effort than money.
Use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to connect with allies (other individuals and organizations fostering and promoting inclusion).
- Connect and collaborate.
Reach out and work with the MediaLook for and develop contacts in the media and entertainment industries.
Contact journalists, TV producers, film directors and other media participants to bring to their attention, and determine their interest, in inclusive authentic stories.
- Empower the media through increasing their knowledge and confidence.
Help guide the media to deal with disability with confidence, respecting authenticity, rights and giving voice to the perspectives of people with disability (not just to their parents, siblings or carers).
Provide journalists and the media with examples of authentic and inclusive media products.
Refer journalists and the media to “disability language guides”.
Refer journalists and the media to guides on interviewing persons with processing difficulties and other intellectual disability.
Use upcoming “disability awareness” dates like the International Day of Disability (Dec 3), Autism Awareness Day (April 2), World Down Syndrome Day (March 21) etc. to prompt engagement and interest.
Give credit for effort and where credit is due – encouragement brings confidence to report the next story on disability. Consider recognizing through feedback, or even non-monetary awards, both positive and negative media products.
- Educate the next generation of Media participants
Contact universities, colleges and schools with media courses.
Encourage media academics developing courses to acknowledge the CRPD and the need for more inclusive media.
Encourage media academics to consult with students and other people with disability in the design of courses and research.
- Lobby and educate Government and Legislators
Bring the requirements of Article 8 of the CRPD to the attention of your government and political representatives.
Advocate for your government to require inclusive media performance indicators as part of its expenditure on media services.
Encourage your government to be more inclusive in its governmental and social campaign advertising.
- Shape the next generation
Encourage children’s TV programming and children’s book authors to include more characters with disability and disability-oriented stories.
Contact the publishers of school books to provide more accurate, up to date images of disability.
- Educate your community
By advocating for inclusive and authentic portrayal of disability in the media you will also educate your community to call out substandard and damaging representations of disability by the media.
Patricia Almeida, Creator, Co-founder and Coordinator - Journalist, member of the board of Down Syndrome International, member of International Disability Alliance. Co-founder of Movimento Down and founder of Inclusive – Inclusion and Citizenship and coordinator of MetaSocial Institute, that works with media in Brazil to promote the rights of persons with disabilities.
Cátia Malaquias, Co-founder and Coordinator - Lawyer, Director of Down Syndrome Australia, Director of the Attitude Foundation Australia, which seeks to use documentary and other media to change attitudes to disability, and the founder of Starting With Julius, a project to promote the inclusion of people with disability in mainstream advertising.
Beth Haller, Co-founder and Coordinator - Professor of Journalism/New Media and the Graduate Director of the Communication Management master’s program in the Department of Mass Communication & Communication Studies at Towson University in Maryland.) Author of Representing Disability in an Ableist World: Essays on Mass Media (Advocado Press, 2010) and the author of Byline of Hope: Collected Newspaper and Magazine Writing of Helen Keller (Advocado Press, 2015).
GADIM is also supported by an Advisory Council comprised of media participants, academics and advocates from all over the world.
Media & D i s a b i l i t y
Alliance for Disability in Media and Entertainment