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THE FORGOTTEN MINORITY | DISABLED PEOPLE MATTER

Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
edited August 2017 in Disabled people
@shonalouise writes a brilliant blog about disability, in a recent post she spoke about her frustration of disabled people being a "forgotten minority" and how they arent included in many conversations about diversity.  You can read an excerpt of her post here, but you can head over to her blog to read the full article.

It was probably last year during the Oscars that this issue really started to get to me. Debates about diversity were started over the fact that the awards were extremely white and once again there was a failure to nominate black or minority actors for the top awards. However, disabled people were completely left out of this conversation, despite the fact that disabled people make up the largest minority group in the world.

I've also found countless articles that talk about people sitting on diversity panels and boards that do not have a single disabled person on or even mention disability during their talks.

Then about a week ago I came across a Buzzfeed video and for me that was the final straw. The video is called 'People Re-Create Iconic High Fashion Ads' and the idea was that a group of diverse people recreated adverts that usually don't include such people. I thought, great, really good idea! Then I watched the video. Disabled people do not even get a mention in the video, let alone actually having a disabled person in it.

I'm sick of not seeing myself in the media. I'm sick of being forgotten, ignored and excluded. But, what I'm most sick of is seeing people sit back and ignore the issue. Most of the time it is only disabled people that are speaking up and fighting and we know from the past and present that we aren't a group of people that are typically listened to.

No one wants to be forgotten and no one should stand back and let people be forgotten.

Take a look at Shona's blog to read more about her experiences and you can see her guest posts that she did for our community on Marfan Syndrome and Disabled Access Day here.


What do you think? Are disabled people a "forgotten minority"? How does it make you feel? Do you want to see better representation of disabled people in the media? What role to do think 'disabled allies' have in the fight for equality?
Scope
Senior online community officer

Replies

  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Member Posts: 421 Pioneering
    A "forgotten minority?" I don't think so, but what I would say would be far stronger. I feel that the disabled are a shunned minority!
    Who gets condemned for deliberately avoiding the disabled in normal life?
    The disabled are shunned by everyone including all those minority and  discriminated groups who have seen their acceptance grow over the last 20 years.

    Better representation in the media, yes but without "tokenism" or "positive discrimination." When did you last see a physically disabled person interviewed by a reporter?
    As for the entertainment media well I'd like to see an accurate and proportionate appearance of disabled people. Also portrayals that don't involve being used as the "bad guy."
    In a movie street scene there are no scooters or wheelchairs! Not even limping people!
    OK James Bond is unlikely to come into contact with the disabled even in fiction but having none in public spaces isn't right.

    I'd not heard of the term "disabled allies" until I read this. I've now seen some web pages and some have been patronising, condescending and run by self-satisfied do-gooders. Some are by people who just support whatever the disabled people want to do and educate on how to behave around them. So considering the great variety in approach of those who want to call themselves this, I'll reserve judgement.
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    In a movie street scene there are no scooters or wheelchairs! Not even limping people!
    SUCH a good point!!! Where are the disabled extras in TV and movies?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • ourvoicesourvoices Member Posts: 47 Connected
    edited August 2017

    I wonder if we 'scare' the non-disabled among us?  As humans, we do seem to be wary of the unknown, disabilities are often misunderstood and we are shunned as @Markmywords points out.

    The other day, I popped this down on paper:

    Being Disabled

    Everyone is disabled at some point in their lives, the difference for many of us is that it is not temporary, we have to live with our disabilities everyday of our lives. It never leaves.

    A parent might feel empathy around an autistic child, but imagine if that struggle you witness to get into the car happened every day to your child without fail.

    Many of us spend years teaching our children about the pitfalls and dangers in life, how to cross a road, being wary of strangers, using a kettle safely.  Now imagine trying to remind someone with learning difficulties of those dangers every day.

    Do you remember feeling self-conscious because you had a spot on your chin, those grey hairs are beginning to show or your smile isn’t as perfect as the other person in the photo?  A person with facial scarring, disfigurements or a visible impairment feels self-conscious every day.

    Have you ever needed crutches or had your arm in a cast or a sling and felt the frustration of not being able to hold something or balance properly?  Someone with Cerebral Palsy, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease (the list continues) face these frustrations, pain and discomfort every day.

    Does Christmas leave you feeling depressed about going back to work, worried that you will have to shed a few pounds, nervous about January’s credit card bill and relieved that the ‘forced’ social gatherings are over for another year?  For some people these feelings, their mental illness, anxiety and depression are not just for Christmas, they are forever.

  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Member Posts: 421 Pioneering
    Very likely the non-disabled are scared and disturbed @ourvoices . However we are like a little spider in their baths. We are more scared of them and are totally incapable of being any sort of threat to them.
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