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Call For More Disabled People To Appear On Jersey Adverts And Media

May 24, 2023

    Calls have been made for more disabled people to appear in Jersey promotional adverts and the media.

    Dan Andrade, 25, who has a physical disability, said people like him were not represented enough.

    The government said as of 2021, about 16,000 of the island’s 103,267 residents had a disability.

    The Jersey Disability Partnership said it was “critical” more was done to feature people with disabilities.

    Mr Andrade, who was born with a short arm, said: “The adverts for Visit Jersey are great, but maybe there is room for a wider range of people on there. I’m hoping that’s something that they’ve talked about…

    “The more you see it in real life, like anything, the more normal it gets.

    “The thing with me, even though people don’t say anything bad about it [my arm], people always seem to look.”

    ‘Local ambassadors’

    Jim Hopley, honorary chair of the Jersey Disability Partnership, said: “It is absolutely critical that they [disabled people] feel that they’re included in all sorts of media outlets, be it press, be it even radio… I think Jersey’s slightly behind the eight ball, [but] it is improving.”

    He said the partnership had been “talking long and hard with Visit Jersey”.

    Visit Jersey said it planned to expand its representation by featuring “local ambassadors with disabilities”.

    “Accessibility is a priority for Visit Jersey, and visitors of all abilities should feel welcome to enjoy the island.”

    The company said it would work with disability charities to “drive awareness amongst local businesses on how to be more inclusive”.

    In 2021, a survey, by independent researchers, included in the government’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy end of year report found 81% believed there was prejudice in Jersey against people with long-term health conditions and disabled people in general.

    Mr Hopley added the government needed to “start delivering on their promises” of making the island more accessible.

    The Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 requires businesses and service providers to make their premises accessible for those with disabilities.

    Deputy Malcom Ferey, Assistant Minister for Health and Social Services, said the government’s disability and inclusion team was looking at how the government “can up its game” in terms of inclusion.

    He said: “It’s important that people exercise their rights and feel empowered to do so, but it’s also government’s job to communicate that message and allow people to realise that you know, we’re on their side when it comes to their rights and responsibilities.”

    Mr Ferey added it was important the island was seen as an accessible place for everyone.

    ‘People like me’

    As well as in Jersey, Mr Andrade said it was important to be represented on reality TV too, specifically ITV2’s show Love Island.

    Throughout Love Island’s nine series, more than 280 people have entered its villa, but only three have openly represented a disability.

    Mr Andrade said contestants entering the show were “not everyday people”.

    He said: “It would help to get people like me to see people with disabilities on the show, and it would also help other people to make it more normal.”

    A Love Island spokesperson said: “Our application and casting process is inclusive to all and we are always aiming to reflect the age and diversity of our audience on the show.”

    Mr Andrade added: “The more you see it anywhere, the better it’s going to be in real life for people with disabilities.

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