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Change the way people with learning disabilities are represented on television and radio

This petition had 1,457 supporters


People with learning disabilities are still experiencing disproportionate levels of hate crime, bullying and harassment (9 out of 10 people with learning disabilities experienced hate crime in 2014). 

We hear shocking stories of people with learning disabilities being spat at, thrown stones at, called ‘spaz’ and ‘mong’ and being made to feel unsafe in their own homes.

We don’t think it is acceptable for this group of people to be treated like this. How would you feel if that was your son or daughter, cousin or friend?

We believe the way people with learning disabilities are portrayed in the media has a huge impact on how the public view them and we want broadcasters to make a change by doing five things:

  • Changing the way language is used: Words like ‘idiot’, ‘spastic’ ‘moron’ and ‘imbecile’ were medical terms used years ago to talk about people with learning disabilities. It is not ok for people to use these words.

 

  • Showing lots of different types of learning disabilities: Many people have no obvious physical feature to tell them apart from other people. It would really help for the general public to see lots of different people with learning disabilities.

 

  • Having people with learning disabilities shown on lots of different programmes: People with learning disabilities should be included in a range of programmes such as Newsnight, The One Show, documentaries and other types of programmes.

 

  • Having people in long term roles and not just focusing on their disability: People with learning disabilities should have regular and long term roles that focus on their everyday lives - working, friends, relationships, just like everybody else.

 

  • Involving people with learning disabilities: Involve people with learning disabilities as actors and as advisers to film, television and radio projects and don't use non-disabled actors in learning disability parts.

 

Please sign our petition to Ofcom so that the media and broadcasters take more responsibility around the way they involve and portray people with learning disabilities.

To find out more about our work around bullying, harassment and hate crime towards people with learning disabilities, visit our website.



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