Stop the Shadows news

Disabled people of colour are feeling lonely after not being represented on TV

Shani Dhanda

The UK media is being accused of shunning disabled people from an ethnic background and failing to represent the whole of society.

This is despite broadcaster Shani Dhanda [pictured above] being voted the most influential person with a disability according to a recent national poll.

Dhanda told ITV News: "It's a really lonely and isolating experience, especially when you're already fighting and up against so many other barriers and challenges when you live in a world that just isn't designed for you.

"It's another form of erasure when you don't see yourself in society. If you don't see others like you, it's very hard to envision what you can do and what you can be. I didn't have that."

Research from Scope shows 43 percent of the British public believe there should be more black and ethnic disabled people on TV.

However, just one in ten said they have seen a disabled person from an ethnic minority on their screens.

Comedian and model Fats Timbo believes production companies have the power to reflect society.

"A lot of people laugh at me, a lot of people film me, a lot of people just take the mick out of me because of what they've seen on TV," she said.

"And I really, really want to campaign against this and make people think that little people are just little.

"That's about it. I'm just as human as everyone else."

Sarah Leigh from Inclusive Talent agency said disability representation on TV comes down to money as well as people’s attitudes.

"It really frustrates me and I think it's disgusting," she told ITV News.

"I am neurodivergent disabled myself. My son is disabled, and I feel that, you know, we face so many barriers in society."

[ 14 percent of Black Americans have a disability, compared with 12.6 percent of the overall population. ]

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