People with physical disabilities

TV has an important role for disabled people. Disabled adults watch a lot more TV than adults who aren’t disabled, and some of the disabled people that we spoke to talked to us about the important role that TV can play in influencing society’s perceptions. When portrayal of disabled people is done badly, it can reinforce existing stigmas, and there were calls for more inspiring, positive images of disability, to reflect the fuller range of experiences that people have.

What viewers told us...

“Everyone feels sorry for that character… in drama shows with people with a disability they are down and hate their life… most people with disabilities just get on with it and live their life just the best they can and so I’d like to see that.”

Male 18-34 physical disability Swansea

“Where you’ve got someone like myself where the condition is sometimes good and sometimes bad there is no correlation... There isn’t a character that is in my position.”

Female 35-54 physical disability South England

“Only [see disabled people on TV] if a character is in a car crash or an accident and its part of the storyline to be disabled... to see someone as a normal character I can’t think of anyone.”

Male 18-34 physical disability Swansea

What programme-makers told us...

“There's also... a BBC disabled presenter development scheme, which will develop a fast track for disabled presenters for factual daytime and sport.”

BBC programme-maker

TV viewing data

Adults with disabilities watch 2hrs 49 mins more TV a day than the UK average.