Companies Launch New Disability Image Collection

Oath, a global media and technology company, announced a partnership with the National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA) and Getty Images to launch The Disability Collection—a growing collection of images that more accurately portrays individuals with disabilities and breaks stereotypes.

“People with disabilities have historically been underrepresented, and often misrepresented in the media,” said Mike Shebanek, head of accessibility at Oath. “We believe the media has the power to shut down stereotypes and we are calling on the industry to commit to more inclusive representation. Together we can create this long overdue change.”

Many of the images of disability that are traditionally used in the media reflect only the “heroic” or the “pitiful”—stereotypes of disability—when disability is much more diverse. The Disability Collection will depict disability in a way that is dignified, modern, diverse, authentic, and human. The project invites photographers to portray disability as a natural part of someone’s identity, instead of portraying disability as something that needs to be cured, fixed, or overcome. Disability is intersectional, so the collection will intentionally include representation across age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, socioeconomic status, religion, and culture, with a focus on traditionally underrepresented groups.

Oath, the NDLA, and Getty Images are encouraging photographers, including those with disabilities, to join in creating and growing this groundbreaking collection. Getty Images and Oath will be providing the necessary resources and opportunities to help content creators broadcast their vision, including funding art-directed shoots and competitions that encourage photographers to capture the imagery.

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This article was adapted from information provided by Getty Images.

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