An Open Letter to John Alexander MP

December 18, 2017

Dear John,

At the Attitude Foundation, we believe that having the right attitude can go a long way towards making Australia a more dynamic and inclusive community. The Attitude Foundation focuses on making sure the media is increasingly representative of Australians with disability – that the words, images and thoughts shared are respectful, inclusive and fair.

Here are some tips that help keep us on track:

Telling our own story is important

When discussing disability, we believe that people with disability are best placed to express what they think and to share our own stories in our own way. Just ask us.

Everyone is different

Show the diversity of people with disability and tell the stories of people with different types of impairments and different life experiences.

Show the real lives of people with disability

People with disability have rich and varied lives.  Like most people, we work, have families, go to school, get involved in our communities and are members of our Parliament. Show this, show the everyday experiences.

Words matter

Not sure what words to use? Start by finding out what words a person with disability likes other people to use. Not everyone who has lives with disability likes the same words. As a general rule, we use “person-first” language because it is the language used in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Images matter

Use photos that have real people with disability in them, represented authentically and inclusively; show their faces, show people doing the ‘everyday’ in inclusive environments, create your own contemporary photo stock.

As Member for Bennelong what a great opportunity and responsibility, you have to include people with disability in all that you do. Follow these tips and you can contribute to making not only Bennelong but all of Australia more respectful, inclusive and welcoming.

Want to know more? We would be happy to work with you – don’t hesitate to contact us, we have plenty of attitude to share.

Warm regards,

Graeme & the Attitude Foundation Team

Graeme Innes AM

Attitude Foundation Chairperson

Former Disability Discrimination Commissioner

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