Since I don't live under a rock I have noticed advertisements for a show called Heartbreak Island which is just a copy of Love Island in the UK. I don't actively watch the show, but usually I just have the show on mute, because some of the contestants/characters are hot. I call them characters because I just assume much of it is fake but that is not a rant suitable for today.
I noticed in the advertisements for the show that there was no diversity in terms of being differently-abled and while I understand the reason why, I would like to see more differently-abled persons on reality TV. It is important to note that there is also no diversity in terms of people's appearance, all of them are attractive because it's that type of show.
If you are creative, then you can accommodate.
An example is making a person who is differently-abled a supervisor for those DIY shows. If you are creative, then you can accommodate. Separate challenges for the more physically intensive shows could be a possibility but maybe people would frown upon this because it treats people differently.
I am against segregation so don't view programmes like The Undateables as the solution. In my opinion the name itself is awful and also contradictory since the people involved are going on dates; how are they undateable then? I believe that once you segregate shows into different minorities it will be mainly the people who are most interested in the minority group who would watch.
The solution here is to apply to shows and do it constantly. Ensure that you want the fame though.
I think that we are better off getting people who are not necessarily interested in our issues to view us just like they view able-body folks. Reality TV could be a tool for this since it is one of the main forms of television programme in the modern era.
I am not a person that magically expects diversity, we have to make it happen. The solution here is to apply to shows and do it constantly. Ensure that you want the fame though.
However there is a second, more challenging step. We have to find ways producers can accommodate us. Talking to them once you get in the door might be a good first step but feel free to message me additional thoughts of the subject.
Thane Pullan is currently the primary contributor at PeopleWithDisabilities.com