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Closing the inclusion gap for people with disabilities
5 minute read | July 2022
The need for increased representation in media across identity groups isn’t new, but progress across groups is far from universal. For people with disabilities, representation remains low, and progress over the years might appear slow at best.
When CODA won the Academy Award last year for Best Picture, for example, it introduced broad audiences to the power of authentic storytelling about children of deaf parents. But at the same time, it highlighted just how limited equitable representation is in films. That’s because Marlee Matlin, who is one of the stars in the film, also won the award for Best Actress for her role in the 1986 film, Children of a Lesser God—the last time the Oscars celebrated the disability community.
The 35-year gap, bookmarked by films involving the same actress and the same disability theme, highlights how equitable disability inclusion very much remains an off-in-the-distance aspiration. Authenticity is the other key consideration, and not all productions benefit [...]