A woman being interviewed by a film crew in a theatre

Resources

These guidelines and supporting resources aim to help foster media environments that are inclusive and accessible and to support media professionals in more inclusive practices. 

 

What is disability?

The preamble to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that:

Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

 

The CRPD preamble and definition of disability reminds us that disability is an external experience. A disability is created when a barrier is encountered. Disability is not a diagnosis although, a community can be found through the shared experiences of barriers and shared experiences of symptomatic characteristics of a diagnosis. 

The Convention promotes the use of media as a tool for change specifically article 8 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities which states that media should portray people with disability in a way that is fair, inclusive and respectful of their rights.

 

The Social Model of Disability:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5bg3wPujWU&feature=youtu.be

 

A fun cartoon:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s3NZaLhcc4

*Note the comments on this video - they discuss the non-contemporary term “able-bodied” which is not in keeping with UNCRPD inclusive language. 

 

Quick tips:

  • The simplest way to ensure true-to-life representations is through co-creating content with people with disability
  • Observe and challenge personal perspectives and biases about disability and people with disability frequently 
  • Show people with disability as members of our society as a whole
  • Ensure all work environments (online and physical) are accessible to the people you are working with by providing several options for participation and asking for their preferred ways of working

 

Avoid:

  • Showing people with disability as different or segregated from people without disability unless relevant in the context
  • Reducing a person with disability to their impairment eg. by calling them"inspirational" just because of their disability or focusing on an assistive aid in imagery or commentary unless relevant to the context 



Portrayal of Disability

To ensure you are making contemporary and respectful content: 

 

Language

Language is an important part of shaping understanding of disability. It can promote inclusion or "other" people with disability in subtle ways. Considering overall messaging and context is part of ensuring inclusive content. 

*Sometimes people with disability will use words to talk about themselves that they do not like other people outside their identified community to use, for example, crip” and “gimp”- this is known as “reclaiming” a word that has previously been used negatively, by giving it a positive meaning. Avoid using these words unless you are quoting someone directly.

 

 

Diversity

Content should aim to represent the diversity of people with disability, including the range of impairments or communities within the disability community itself (physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual) as well as considering congenital and acquired, visible and invisible community experiences. 

 

Accessibility

Access is a fundamental part of ensuring media is truly inclusive. From behind the scenes to creation, promotion and broadcast cast, crew and consumers have a right to share in comparable experiences. Aim to: 

 

Submissions

White Paper - Accessible Content for All - Accessibility in Australian Screen Media

Submission to the DSS National Disability Strategy Review

Submission to the Disability Royal Commission

Community

Llewellyn's employment journey

Jonathan's employment journey

Martin's employment journey

Education Resources

ATOM Study Guides for Teachers - Perspective Shift 1