When I heard that the [with]tv blog was looking for input from people interested in the topic of disability on their blog, I signed up right away. Why?
Because I often blog about the inaccurate and sometimes damaging portrayal of people with disabilities in the media. This coverage, unfortunately, sometimes perpetuates the myths that exist about us. And [with]tv is an opportunity to help change that.
So what is [with]tv? "[with]tv is an exciting new project: a start-up corporation devoted to providing television and Internet programming of, by, and for people with disabilities."- via website at www.with-tv.com.
What's most exciting about this project is that it's an opportunity for all of us with disabilities to be heard - to put our voices out there and speak for ourselves about what our lives are like, to get coverage of the issues that affect us most and to have access to media without facing barriers that sometimes exist - such as having to balance being the object of an inspirational story.
I remember years ago being interviewed for an article about wheelchair tennis by a local paper. I explained to the woman what my day job was and the everyday activities I did. Yet the gist of the article was about how brave I was because I made a joke about how I no longer had to buy sneakers as frequently because the treads lasted longer. (Well it's true but not the point I wanted to emphasize!) Yet I fared better than my friend who was filmed at a tournament simply rolling in circles, his tennis racquet down by his side, because the TV cameraman didn't bother to understand the sport of wheelchair tennis and thought that clip was as good as any other.
And there's been worse - coverage that makes that incident look like small potatoes. For examples,feel free to check out my labels below "media coverage".
Just think - a place where we can express how we feel about the new TV show "Bionic Woman" and how the portrayal of that impinges on amputees or where we can go when we're running an event that requires coverage - but can't get it from other TV stations or papers. I can think of dozens of times I was running activities where coverage like that would have tripled (or more) the attendance, the interest and increased community awareness.
So click above and check out recent DVD reviews (like about the movie The Lookout which has a disability theme) or Connie Kuusisto's (the Blog Master of [with]tv) take on the MDA Telethon or Scott Rain's column on disability and travel. And remember that your input is important too so let me repeat the invitation that's posted over at Planet of the Blind by Connie:
As a volunteer working with the folks at [with]tv I have recently been honored with the title “blog master”. In that capacity I am writing to disability bloggers I know and respect to ask for support. I (we) are hoping you would be willing to either write a post, submit a post you’ve already written, or even join us as a “columnist” and submit posts whenever the mood strikes.
Posts can be submitted to my attention at firstname.lastname@example.org. The blog can be found at http://withtv.blogspot.com/. It is a work in progress and I (we) sure would appreciate your support. While you’re there, please sign the Guest Book and let us know what you think. We’re working hard to spread the word. Anything you can do to help would surely give us a boost!
Blog Master, [with]tv
P.S. A person need not be a blogger to submit articles to [with]tv or to sign the Guest Book. Anyone interested in the topic of disability is encouraged to participate." via Planet of the Blind