Inclusive Imagery

Although we are increasingly seeing people with disabilities on TV, in movies, and in ads, images are still prone to stereotypes. Too many images show a lone wheelchair user in places devoid of other people. Or, wheelchair users are shown needing to be pushed, rather than being able to navigate independently.

It’s not a question of necessarily having more images of disability as it might even reinforce stereotypes. It gives people the illusion of knowing what life is like with a disability. 

Tips for choosing inclusive images

Here are 5 points to consider when choosing images for your communications and marketing :

  1. Do not reinforce stereotypes.
  2. The majority of disabilities are invisible, e.g. low vision, hearing loss, heart disease, so show pictures of groups of people from all walks of life.
  3. Avoid being overly “sweet” or creating “inspiration porn”.
  4. Show the diversity of the the disability community, including gender and nationality.
  5. Consult with people with specific identities to inform your choice of images.

More reading on this topic:  Putting the Disability in DEI Through Inclusive Imagery.