disability

Meet the agent for disabled talent

Actor and model Grace Mandeville is represented by VisABLE

Having previously owned the largest modelling agency outside of London, Dyson was approached by a manufacturer of mobility equipment, who was looking for wheelchair users to model its products. Together, they launched a modelling competition, receiving over 600 entries and international press interest. The agency has grown and now represents more than 80 actors, presenters and models.

Why did you decide to set up VisABLE?

Channel 4 commissions new coming of age series Home Free

Home Free (w/t) follows a group of young people with learning disabilities as they leave home and move into supported living apartments.

Living independently for the first the time, the new housemates will take a major leap in their lives with extraordinary access from the families.

The observational documentary promises joy, laughter, new friendships, blossoming relationships and even tears and heartache.

BBC announces new development scheme for disabled actors

Shannon Murray in Class (Credit: BBC)

The programme, run by ThinkBigger, will give disabled actors across the UK the opportunity to showcase their talents to professionals in the industry, gain training and widen their contact portfolio in the industry. 

Actors are invited to submit a self-taped audition under two minutes in length to apply for the scheme in which up 30 actors will be selected.

For more information on how to apply, click here.

TV must do more to back disabled talent

Channel 4’s coverage of the 2012 London Paralympics was a big moment in British TV. For the first time, audiences saw disabled athletes as glamorous role models participating in a high-profile showcase. At a stroke, Channel 4 put the Paralympics on the map, after more than half a century of obscurity.

But, in the past four and a half years, have our broadcasters begun to fulfil the promise of the Paralympics in the representation of disabled people on TV – or are those with disabilities still being marginalised and stereotyped?

Where have all the disabled people gone?

Adam Hills, Rosie Jones and Shannon Murray (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

That was the sobering conclusion from an RTS early evening event, Where Have All the Disabled People Gone?

Paradoxically the discussion was full of laughter and sly wit, not least from chair, the journalist and presenter Ade Adepitan.     

A panel of disabled men and women who work in TV and media told the audience of their experiences trying to make a living in TV.

BBC News launches week of disability news coverage

Stories from across the UK and around the world will form the bedrock of the week, beginning on Monday 20th February,. Reports examine how different businesses are working to help disabled people and assess the true power of the purple pound on the global and UK economy.

BBC News will be reporting from Mumbai where a UK company has hired blind people as perfumers, and from Wales, where a farmer paralysed in a car accident has been able to return to work in a specially adapted tractor.

Have you met Miss Jones?

“When I meet someone their first emotion is to shit themselves because they’re like ‘Is she drunk? Is she mental? What is she saying?’ I love that because I can think, right, I am going to prove you wrong!” she says.

Rosie has recently come back from the Funny Women awards where she reached the final with the support of her mentor, stand-up comedian Sara Pascoe. “It was only my tenth ever gig” she recalls. “I performed to about 800 people. That’s my biggest audience by about 780 people…”

Your catch up TV must-sees

House of cards, kevin Spacey,

1. Cooked

 

 

This slow-starting series is both beautifully shot and engagingly presented.

The show centres around the ways food is prepared around the world and the role that food, and eating, impact us on a social, cultural and personal level. Each of the four episodes is named after one of the classical elements (earth, air, fire and water) and examines how these four elements form the basis of every meal that we eat.

Channel 4 launches Year of Disability

China, Beijing, Paralympics, 2008

The focus on disability coincides with the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and aims to build upon the ongoing initiatives outlined in last year's 360° Diversity Charter which aimed to improve access for all under-represented groups such as BAME, LGBT and women.

In 2017, Channel 4 will focus on a different diversity theme.