People with disabilities tend to be drastically underrepresented in both culture and journalism. And one website is hoping to change that. Disabled Writers is a simple resource to help editors connect with writers with disabilities. As the site explains:
We are concerned about the lack of disability representation in media and pop culture, particularly with respect to multiply marginalized disabled people, such as disabled women of color and the transgender disability community. This resource aims to eliminate the "I couldn't find anyone" barrier to hiring disabled writers and speaking with disabled sources.
When disability coverage appears in the media, it's often developed for nondisabled people, by nondisabled people. 20 percent of the population, which includes media consumers and creators, is disabled, and it is important to put disabled people in charge of their own narratives. Hiring disabled writers will improve the breadth and depth of your coverage, and talking to disabled people as sources for your stories will improve the quality of your reporting.
Disabled journalists and sources aren't just focused on disability. Disabled Writers highlights the incredible diversity of interests in the disability community, from the law to feminism. If you're seeking to increase the diversity of your storytelling—and who is telling those stories—we hope you find this sourcing tool useful.
While the website is designed first and foremost for editors looking for writers to hire, its collection of writer profiles also contains links to the writers' social media accounts. So consider diversifying your Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and more with some of these voices. You can also follow the Disabled Writers site itself on Twitter.
[Header image: Tyler Feder of Roaring Softly]