GADIM – visibility, accessibility, representation, inclusion

The Global Alliance for Disability in Media and Entertainment was created to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in mass media.

GADIM’s mission is informed by Article 8 (Awareness-raising) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

A black and white bumper sticker from SyracuseCulturalWorkers.com that says “nothing about us WITHOUT US” and has the international wheelchair symbol.

“Nothing About Us Without Us”

This phrase has become the central theme for the disability rights movement’s activism around media. It is communicating the idea that no decision should be made by any media organization without the full and direct participation of members of the disability community.

This idea is reflected in GADIM’s approach to the representation of people with disabilities in the news and entertainment media – people with disabilities must be involved in all aspects of mass media to convey their authentic stories.

GADIM is a global project to leverage all media, culture, and entertainment to promote the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. The project’s main mission is to improve the portrayal of disability in mass media.

GADIM invites all media organizations and industry participants – news, entertainment, advertising, etc. – to increase the representation and authentic portrayal of people with disabilities in all areas.

Join our efforts and be a part of this network

FilmDis and GADIM Become Partners

GADIM has partnered with FilmDis, founded by filmmaker and media consultant Dominick Evans, to study current disability representation on television in a more in-depth way. FilmDis is a media monitoring organization that advocates for authentic representation and inclusion of disabled people in all aspects of film and television production.

Media Analysis Study

GADIM helped fund a study conducted by Evans and his FilmDis partner, screenwriter and media consultant Ashtyn Law, called “Disability Representation on TV in 2019/2020.”

They found that out of the 1,198 disabled characters across the 30 networks & streaming services, only 128 characters were portrayed by disabled actors, who had at least one of the disabilities they portrayed. 

Thus, nondisabled actors portrayed more than 1,000 disabled characters on television, according to their study. This inauthentic representation is called disabled mimicry. Evans and Law define it as “the performance of disabled roles by nondisabled actors or actors without the specific disability represented, which is often reduced to mimicking disability through physicality and vocal intonation.” Read Evans’ essay about disabled mimicry here.

GADIM and FilmDis advocate for better television and film storytelling about actual disabled people’s lives and inclusion of creators with disabilities in every aspect of the storytelling, from script consultation to acting or direction to all parts of the production process.

Evans and Law explain that “there is much more to disabled lives than what we see (on TV), and with Hollywood in desperate need of fresh stories and voices, disabled creators and their ideas for television are ripe for the picking. Hollywood just needs to let the stories bloom.”

FilmDis founder Dominick Evans directs a new music video in Hollywood, SPACES by James Ian, remotely from his home in Michigan. Evans is a white, trans, wheelchair user with short dark hair and glasses. He is looking at the scene he is directing from an iPad on a mount before the scene of James Ian sitting in front of a microphone with a guitar on his lap.
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