BBC launches month long disability season
The BBC is running a month long season of films and documentaries about how disability impacts the lives of young people. It will feature issues such as parenting, hate crime, relationships and the qualities required from personal assistants.
The season is being called Defying the Label and started on 20 July with a factual drama called Don’t Take My Baby, about a couple’s struggle to keep their baby daughter. The series will continue with The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime. In this programme, Adam Pearsons, who suffers from a facial disfigurement, finds out why hate crime towards disabled people is under-reported and under-recorded.
As well as this, artist and campaigner Sophie Morgan travels to Ghana to find out why it is classed as the worst place in the world to be disabled. Sophie travels to meet a so-called ‘fetish priest’ who claims to ‘dispose’ of disabled children for money.
A Closer Look at Disabled Lives
Amongst the other programmes in the series, filmmakers examine why an eleven-year-old boy wants his leg to be amputated because a rare genetic condition has left his leg covered in more than 200 tumours. There’s even a mock game show called The Totally Senseless Gameshow, which explores disability by temporarily disabling its celebrity contestants. This plays with taboos and gives both the contestant and the viewer a sense of what it must be like to live with a disability.
Other films explore issues such as epilepsy, leaving the care system and the lives of students on campus living away from support for the first time.
A Step in The Right Direction
It’s very positive that the national broadcaster is dedicating a whole season to the issue of disability. Some of the films may not make for easy viewing but they all ask, and sometimes answer, questions about what life is like living with disability – from people’s attitudes towards disability to the kind of safety equipment that’s needed to make lives easier and more secure.
The season started on 20 July and will run for a month until the end of August. Most programmes will be screened across the BBC and are also available on iPlayer.