Why am I in Geneva today? To help pre- launch GADIM at the UN – the Global Alliance for Disability in Media and Entertainment.
GADIM is about providing an international platform for promoting the greater and better portrayal of disability in all forms of media.
Even with recent improvement, disability is still almost invisible in the media. In US television, less than 1% of characters are portrayed with a disability, and then mainly by non-disabled actors. Portrayal of people with disability in the media for the most part reaffirms negative disability stereotypes and the prevailing culture of low expectations.
People with disability need to be seen, listened to and portrayed more authentically in the media.
Patricia Almeida (Brazil, journalist, member of International Disability Alliance and Down Syndrome International) and I discussed the need for GADIM when we met in Geneva last April. With Beth Haller (USA, Professor of Journalism and New Media, Towson University, Maryland), we have brought GADIM to life and others have since joined to support GADIM’s mission.
GADIM will be pre-launched today (3 October) in Geneva at the Palais des Nations at the Media and Persons with Disability side event of the Social Forum 2016 – at which Patricia and I will be speaking.
GADIM has the support of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Disability Alliance – it is also supported by an Advisory Board comprised of leading media participants, academics and advocates.
GADIM will bring together like-minded national, regional and international organisations as well as media participants, academics and disability advocates to work strategically and collaboratively with the aim of changing cultural attitudes to disability – the number one exclusionary barrier for people with disability – through working with and better engaging the media – as envisaged by Article 8 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
[Cover photo © Munksynz.]
You can follow GADIM – Global Alliance for Disability in Media and Entertainment on Facebook and Twitter @GADIMORG