Through a tweet I once again realized: why are there so few disabled/impaired people on (inter)national television?
In my earlier blog post “Extraordinarily normal” https://reneeiseli.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/aussergewoehnlich-normal/” I already wrote that it is very rare to read in the media about successful hearing-impaired people in the media.
Impaired people appear almost only on television or in the media when the topic of “handicap” is discussed. And mostly the topic points to problems and the impaired people talk about their impairment or handicap.
But this tweet, in which a very well written article is pointed out, again made it clear to me that in generall people who are impaired are hardly visible in the media. According to the article (only available in Dutch), critics in France recently reacted with indignation because studies made it clear that only 1% of people on television have a handicap/disability compared to 18% of the population who have “something”. As long as the television makers regard a handicap as frightening, nothing changes, was the comment of a critic. And so it is exactly.
Nowadays, most people with a disability are well educated, have studied or learned a profession. So why not a deaf meteorologist, or autistic climate experts on TV, to mention just one example?
Not to show how special they are, but only because these people are also experts and also part of our population.
Dear BBC, dear other televisionmakers or producers, I would like to challenge you to take up this glove at this point!
If you, dear readers, know young people with a handicap/disability who are familiar with a specific topic, please let your local and national TV stations know!