A true representation of the 4.4 million Australians with disability is urgently required in the media, arts and wider community, according to new research released today by profit-for-purpose company, Mable.
Coinciding with International Day of People with Disability, the Mable research highlights the disparity between people with disability in Australia and how they are represented in media, with a huge 98% calling for greater representation of people with disability in media.
Inclusivity in sport is deemed to be the best reflected area in the media, with almost a quarter (24.75%) of those surveyed saying they felt people with disability were represented ‘well’ or ‘very well’ in the competitive arena.
However, areas of growth where ratings were ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ for representation of people with disability include:
- Business: 79.2%
- Music: 77.22%
- Movies or Film: 73.26%
- News and Media: 71.28%
“The survey results are disappointing to see, but sadly they’re also unsurprising,” says CEO and co-founder of Mable, Peter Scutt.
“People with disability are their own individual – with their own likes, dislikes and passions. At Mable, we feel strongly that communities like media, arts, music and sport should represent the people who live in them. Since 2014, Mable has provided millions of hours of support to help people with a disability to connect with their passions and their communities.
“We’re passionate about driving awareness of the representation problem in Australia and fight for inclusivity for people with disability.”
It’s time to talk
According to those surveyed, 87% of people with disability wish those living without a disability knew how to better interact with them.
“We understand that while perhaps not everyone has experience interacting with someone who has a disability, simply being mindful of language can make a huge difference,” says Scutt.
“Using specific words and terminology can create a sense of empowerment, pride, identity and purpose. And once that conversation is struck, wider representation of people with disability in the community can be achieved.”
To help encourage positive conversations about disability in media and the community, Mable has developed an Inclusive Language Guide, available online.