The Superbowl, cost-cutting and disabled UK actors make the news
UK TV channels are set to publish guidelines declaring the number of disabled actors they will put on their screens. However, a lack of actors with disabilities in the UK may be a larger issue.
In a report on the BBC News website, many disabled people feel they can’t follow a career in acting due to a lack of access or because of prejudice they face trying to achieve their dreams. Despite the numbers from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, who said that in 2013-14 almost a quarter of students attending full-time courses declared a disability – a higher percentage than living in the UK – access to the right training is still a major concern for disabled actors.
Mental health warning to councils
A leading mental health charity has warned UK councils that they may be creating long-term problems by offering only generic care as a cost-cutting exercise. By taking back mental health care from charities and other contractors in a bid to save money, they could be creating far more serious problems for patients in the future.
Hafal chief executive Alun Thomas warned that many people may end up losing a ‘portion of their lives’ if they are not given access to the right kind and quality of mental health care.
Super stories from the Superbowl
As the climax of the NFL season, the Superbowl is one of the most watched sporting events in the world. In recent years, the Half Time Show and advertising breaks have become almost as iconic. So, it was very good to see not one but two adverts featuring stories about disabled people overcoming adversity. A Duracell advert featured a deaf NFL athlete called Derrick Coleman saying: ‘They gave up on me, told me I should quit. But I’ve been deaf since I was three, so I didn’t listen’. Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy also featured in an advert promoting a car company.
While it is good to see disabled athletes on our screens, the adverts did cause a debate in The Guardian about whether disability on TV has become solely about emotional motivation rather than the everyday realities access to facilities, services, and provision of equipment such as evac chairs and ramps. It’s an interesting discussion but at least it’s one that’s making the news rather than being largely ignored.
There’ll be another news round up next month, so see you then.