What are media companies doing to include disability?

Media industry companies are starting to take steps to include diversity, in their staff and productions. Check below some of them and please let us know of any other initiatives you might know: info@gadim.org



The British TV Channel, that innovated in the London Paralympics in 2012 by transmitting the whole event - which was unprecedent in the media for an open commercial TV channel - and also used reporters with disability to cover the Games, is making history once again. 

Channel 4 declared 2016 an year dedicated to people with disability. They released a spetacular video for the Rio Paralympics 2016, according to their press release, the film with the largest number of people with disabilities in it. Watch the video "We're the Superhumans". Subtitle, sign and audio description versions available.


Check the website of the Superhumans Band:



Channel 4 tonight launches a major new advertising campaign ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: We’re The Superhumans (opens in a new window). The new ad launches as part of Channel 4’s 2016 Year of Disability and is the follow up to the multi-award-winning Meet the Superhumans campaign of London 2012, which helped shift perceptions of disability within the UK.


The centrepiece of the campaign is a three-minute advert, We’re the Superhumans (opens in a new window), conceived by Channel 4’s in-house 4creative team and directed by Blink Productions’ Dougal Wilson. The film features a cast of more than 140 disabled people – including Paralympic athletes, musicians and members of the public from all walks of life – and celebrates the abilities of people with a range of impairments. It includes inspirational scenes such as a mother with no arms holding her baby with her feet; children with prosthetic limbs running, jumping, and playing football; and a woman flying a plane with her feet. It is believed to include more disabled people than ever before featured in a UK ad – and will be the most accessible campaign ever produced by Channel 4, with subtitled, signed and audio described versions available.


The advert is being premiered at a star-studded event at Channel 4’s Horseferry Road headquarters before being launched across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube at 8pm on Thursday 14th July – and then broadcast as a road-block across Channel 4’s portfolio of channels at 9pm on Friday 15th July.


The ad is set to the iconic Sammy Davis Jr track, Yes I Can, which has been re-recorded by a specially assembled band of disabled musicians drawn from around the world, The Superhumans Band, featuring lead vocalist Tony Dee. It was recorded in the famous Studio 2 of Abbey Road studios and the track will be released by Universal Music with all profits being donated towards the British Paralympics Association.


The film will be accompanied by a powerful poster campaign shot by Nadav Kander which features both Paralympians and disabled members of the public – and will roll out across Britain in the run up to the Rio Paralympics Opening Ceremony on 7th September.


Channel 4’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Dan Brooke said: "We’re the Superhumans is an unbridled celebration of ability, by both elite Paralympians and everyday people. In 2012 we saw athletes like never before, but now we see that Down’s Syndrome graduates and wheelchair users in the workplace are just as Superhuman as blind sprinters and amputee weightlifters.


“With our unique remit to champion diversity, innovation and new talent, the Paralympics is a public service bullseye for Channel 4. This campaign is the most important we have ever undertaken and isn't just about Rio, it's about revolutionising public attitudes to disability forever."


The marketing campaign will promote Channel 4’s ground-breaking coverage of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, which will include more than 700 hours of sport broadcast across Channel 4 platforms – and will feature the largest ever team of disabled presenters on UK television.


The Rio Paralympics are the centrepiece of Channel 4’s 2016 Year of Disability – launched in January as part of the channel’s ongoing 360º Diversity Charter commitments – which includes major on and off screen commitments to improving representation of disabled people.


In 2012, Channel 4’s Meet the Superhumans campaign had a huge public impact and helped drive more than 11 million viewers to the opening night of the corporation’s live coverage of the London Paralympic Games. The multi-award-winning ad was named Campaign of the Year and, alongside Channel 4’s BAFTA-winning coverage of the Games, helped to change attitudes to disability sport and disability more generally.


Reflecting the diversity of modern society is more than just the right thing to do – it gives our programmes mass appeal, attracting the largest possible audiences which is essential to our success as an integrated producer broadcaster. So we strive to ensure diversity in our on-screen programming and in our workforce, ensuring that we’re relevant and accessible to all.

We know that only by representing our audiences within our workforce and on-screen will we be able to authentically reflect and appeal to the breath of viewers that characterise modern society. Not only do we want to attract the most talented people, but we want people to achieve their best and successfully develop their career with us."


Inclusive programming

To ensure our programmes accurately portray the diversity of modern society by the people on-screen and the editorial content.

Inclusive workforce

To ensure our workforce reflects the diverse make-up of modern society to foster creativity and to ensure our programmes and services are relevant to our audiences.


Inclusive culture

To build awareness and capacity and create a culture that attracts, develops and retains the best talent possible and enables everyone to be their best.


Inclusive access to programmes and services

To work with our supply chain to encourage inclusivity standards and to make sure our services are accessible.

"... partnering with organisations that help us to access diverse talent pools is a key part of our approach. Breaking Through Talent, an initiative in partnership with Creative Skillset, focused on the under representation of disability on-screen by offering a one-day intensive casting workshop for actors with a disability."

"Our internal policies support our colleagues to be at their best and include our Equal Opportunities Policy, Disability Policy and Flexible Working Policy to name a few. We’re a Disability Confident partner, working with the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions to remove barriers to employment for people with disabilities and those with long-term health conditions, and to ensure opportunities to fulfill potential and realise aspirations. We’ve been awarded the Two Ticks disability symbol for our commitments to prospective applicants and colleagues with disabilities."

Inclusive access to programmes and services

To work with our supply chain to encourage inclusivity standards and to make sure our services are accessible.

We want our programmes and services to be as accessible as possible to the largest audiences, and we’re committed to improving accessibility both on and off-screen.

Ofcom’s Code on Television Access Services sets annual targets for subtitling, audio description and signing, which we continue to exceed, measuring year-on-year against our total transmission hours. Behind the scenes, we continue to review our on-site accessibility specifications and processes to make sure they’re as inclusive as possible.




Ofcom’s Code on Television Access Services sets targets for subtitling, audio description and signing. For 2015, these were:



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broadcast output

Audio description:


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What we’re doing

Our in-house service, ITV SignPost are experts in creating accessible on-screen content in British and American Sign Language for broadcast, online and many other platforms. Since 2000, they’ve been providing signing for our family of channels as well as a range of international public and private sector clients. Our Signed Stories website, showcases the best of children’s books in British and American Sign Language, animation, text and sound. Signed Stories was ITV’s first website production to transfer to television and now features as a continuing series on CITV.

Working in partnership with RNIB, Action on Hearing Loss and ITV SignPost, more than 85% of our content is subtitled across ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV, and 20% or more of content across ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV is audio described. We’ll continue to increase accessibility of our programmes and services, with a focus on content across Video On Demand platforms, a growing area of our business.  To see our latest access services data see our ITV Corporate Responsibility Summary Report 2015.


Source: http://itvresponsibility.com/people/


Everyone has a story

The BBC’s Diversity Strategy 2011-15

Why diversity matters There are around 60 million people in the UK – and we are all different by virtue of our own particular circumstances: from age and gender, disability and race, religion and sexual orientation, where we come from and where we choose to be, – and other circumstances that form who we are and what our story is. So, as a broadcaster, for the BBC the case for exploring diversity is simple:


Our audiences are becoming increasingly diverse and are ever-changing – both in make-up and in expectation. We must strive to stay relevant to all our audiences. Our creativity – diversity is a creative opportunity for us to tell new and original stories, and to generate genuinely distinctive content. Our funding – most UK households pay for the BBC through the licence fee, and should see themselves and their lives reflected through our services. Legislation – the law is clear, and supports the advance of equality. And as an employer and partner, the case is equally clear:


Our mission to deliver quality – efforts to provide quality and value for all audiences ensures diversity stays at the heart of our work. Our values – a core organisational value is that ‘we respect each other and celebrate our diversity so that everyone can give their best’. A workforce which fully reflects our society enables us to reflect our own diversity through our programmes and content.

Equality Act 2010 – the Public Sector Equality Duty The new Equality Act 2010 has simplified and strengthened the law on equality and diversity and has, in particular, introduced a stronger public sector equality duty. The public sector equality duty requires public bodies to have due regard to eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation of individuals based on the ‘protected characteristics’ of Disability, (among other minorities).

Portrayal data collected by the Cultural Diversity Network The Cultural Diversity Network (CDN) is a partnership of the main UK broadcasters and other industry bodies working together to improve diversity on and off screen, across the broadcast and wider creative media industry.


The CDN conducted a snapshot analysis of the diversity of people represented on UK television in 2009 by age, gender, disability, ethnicity and sexual orientation.


Its findings included: Disabled people made up less than 1% of the TV population (compared to 20% of the audience)* Communications Research Group 2010

Deliver high quality programming which reflects modern Britain accurately and authentically Examples of what we will do include: • We will continue to address how we portray specific sections of the audience – including women, black and minority ethnic people, lesbian, gay and bisexual people, disabled people, people of different age groups and trans people – to ensure that it is fair and accurate.


Build in accessibility from the start when developing new products and services, and ensuring sustainable and ongoing accessibility Our plans include: • We will establish BBC Access, chaired by a senior member of the BBC’s Executive Board (a role inaugurated by Chief Financial Officer Zarin Patel), to ensure accessibility is delivered for disabled staff and disabled audience members. • We will offer targeted training to develop knowledge and expertise among staff tasked with building accessible products and services.

• Our work placement scheme for disabled people, Extend, offers short-term paid work placements. This year we introduced ManageAble , targeting placements in senior and decision-making roles. See more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/jobs/extend/.

. We run the Journalism Trainee Scheme and the Journalism Talent Pool (for already trained journalists) to increase diversity among our journalists. Both routes are identifying a more diverse pool of journalistic talent in terms of gender, ethnicity and social diversity than ever before. We are also aiming to attract more disabled journalists through these initiatives in the future: www.bbc.co.uk/jobs/jts/index.shtml.

• With the BBC Trust we have examined BBC portrayal of diverse audiences including disabled people, lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and people from different regions and nations in the UK.

• A range of content across our services marked the International Day of Disabled People in December last year. BBC News channel, for example, covered a series of items under the banner Access All Areas. www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/11/access_all_areas.html

• We worked with Channel 4 to understand the views of disabled audiences about content and accessibility of services. The research is helping us make more accurate portrayals of disabled people and be more inclusive of disabled people in programmes that are not specifically about disability.

. The Digital Switchover Help Scheme gives older and disabled people practical assistance to make the switch to digital TV, scheduled for completion in 2012. The service is provided on behalf of the BBC by Eaga, which is very experienced in delivering a range of high quality services to older and disabled people. An independent audit of the service found that the key parts of the service are examples of best practice in meeting the needs of disabled people. See more details at www.helpscheme.co.uk/.

• My Web My Way helps disabled people to get the most out of BBC services online. It was developed in partnership with national charity Abilitynet. www.bbc.co.uk/accessibility/accessibility_beta/.

• During 2011 we will open a new media centre on the site of London’s Broadcasting House which will house all our national and international journalism, and most of our network radio services. We have been working to ensure that this state-of-the-art facility is fully accessible to disabled staff, contributors and members of the public.



CBS News ADA25 Intership Program (2nd. year)


Through Lights! Camera! Access 2.0:

City University of NY (CUNY) "Call to Action" Summit on the Disability Narrative Imperative and Resume Review/Speed Interviewing for up to 50 college students, recent grads and veterans with disabilities.