Disability Media is committed to advancing the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities.
DMA creates space for people with disabilities to be seen and heard through the production of diverse and entertaining television, radio and film content that shares their stories and talents.
Funds raised: $21,900
DMA presented at TFN’s collective giving event in Melbourne on 3 June 2014 and raised $21,900 (including $10,950 in matched funding from Creative Partnerships Australia). The funds were used to employ and mentor a lead series producer for the 2014 series of No Limits (Series 14) – a community television series broadcast over 13 weeks on channel 31. The series attracted positive audience feedback and reached around 20,000 viewers per week.
Encapsulating ideals such as self-determination and ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’, Disability Media Australia creates space for people with disabilities to be seen and heard on local entertainment channels – television, radio and film content that is representative of diverse life experiences and created by media production trainees who themselves have a disability.
The funds were used to employ and mentor a lead series producer for the 2014 series of No Limits (Series 14) – a community television series broadcast over 13 weeks on channel 31. The series attracted positive audience feedback and reached around 20,000 viewers per week.
Season 14 is now screening via community stations in other capital cities including Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth; screening seasons vary between locations but each city will have broadcast No Limits at some point in the 12 months following production.
Around 20 people with disabilities participated directly the show’s production, both on screen and behind the scenes. The production process engendered a tremendous sense of purpose, productivity and community among those involved. Opportunities like this, to congregate with others around project accountability (as opposed to participating in a leisure activity or watching others perform) play a considerable role in relieving the burden of low expectations that can be common among people with disabilities.
Over the past 12 months, DMA has experienced its fair share of highs and lows – from the achievement of not one, but two, Antenna awards for the No Limits series, to the farewell gathering among friends and colleagues in December to honour the life of the fabulously dishonourable comedian, journalist, disability activist and DMA patron, Stella Young. 1
Core funding remains a constant challenge and DMA’s members are in the process of convening a new board to consider a fresh strategic plan for the organisation going forward. The invitation extended by Sarah Barton at the closing of her presentation in June 2014 – welcoming anyone who would like to help create an educational hub for people with disability in the City of Melbourne – remains open, with a vision that is as large as ever. By changing the lives of disabled Australians (and all those who live alongside them) from the inside out, DMA believes we can adjust the aspirations and responsibilities of all.
Despite the different and sometimes hard realities of everyday life, organisations of people with disabilities sustain in virtually every country in the world to embrace empowerment, independence, integration, self-help and self-determination. An opportunity awaits strong board members and/or supporters to join Disability Media Australia and help activate a collective consciousness that will carry us all closer to a fully inclusive and integrated society. If you feel you have something to contribute or be involved with Disability Media Australia, please contact Sarah Barton: firstname.lastname@example.org
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