While representation of disabilities in television, film and media has increased in recent years, the number of characters with disabilities is still too low. Especially because 22% of Canadians are living with a disability. And unfortunately, disability stigma continues to be seen in tv and movies. That's why the world desperately needs movies, television, and media that authentically show characters with disabilities.
Having diverse, authentic portrayals of people with disabilities in tv, film, and media can help advance opportunities for the disability community, end stigma, and get us talking about ableism. Sign the petition today to join our call for increased, authentic representation of people with disabilities in media and join the conversation on how we can end ableism together.
Currently, actors and actresses without disabilities play over 95 percent of all characters with disabilities on television — with the majority of those characters and actors being white, straight men. That shouldn't be the case.
As an actor himself, Tai pursued creative activities after watching the television series Glee. But, as an artist and actor with a disability who uses a wheelchair himself, Tai knows how important it is to shine a spotlight on disability—and authentic representation at that.
"I can see other parts of myself represented in the media, but not my disability. That lack of representation makes it seem like my disability is something that outcasts me or separates me from the crowd, but that's not necessarily the case. It's changing now, but there are these tropes about people with disabilities as people who are sick, people who are struggling, and people who need help. While I may need help sometimes, that doesn't mean that my character has to be based on that. But it also doesn't mean that my character has to be entirely independent. It's important to find that balance, and just showcase real stories."
Now is the time for the disability community to be seen accurately in movies, TV, and media. We need your voice to speak up for increased intersectional, accurate representation of characters with disabilities — sign to join the conversation to end ableism today.