Representation in the media is powerful. Seeing stories on screen that reflect your experience can offer comfort, validation and hope. However, compared to other minority groups, authentic disability stories can be hard to find. A new streaming service, Disability Media Network, is trying to change that by showcasing short series, documentaries and movies featuring a wide range of disabilities.
DiMe aims to provide a platform for disabled filmmakers and disabled actors to share their stories and distribute their work. “The platform has two purposes — one from a viewer standpoint to allow people to see people who look like them, [and one] from a filmmaker standpoint to give another distribution outlet to their content,” says Jennifer Price, the founder of DiMe.
Price is nondisabled but worked for years as a disability rights attorney. As she spent time with the community, a common theme kept emerging: the need for more authentic disability representation in the media. “I had conversations with people in the disability community who would talk about the things they were frustrated with. And one of them that really resonated with me was the media,” she says. “I can thoroughly appreciate the importance of representation.”
What To Watch
opens in a new windowMapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita shares the story of Dr. Jack Kessler and his daughter Allison. After Allison was injured in a skiing accident and paralyzed from the waist down, Dr. Kessler made the decision to change the focus of his research to begin looking for a cure for spinal cord injuries using embryonic stem cells.
opens in a new windowDancing Outside the Box focuses on the world of wheelchair ballroom dancing through the story of Ray Leight, a wheelchair user who developed a ballroom dancing curriculum for wheelchair users to dance with a standing partner.
Take a Look at This Heart highlights stories of the unconditional love shared between the people living with disabilities and the partners who care about them.
opens in a new windowOurView Podcast is hosted by wheelchair user Arthur Aston and brings on experts from all corners of the disability community to discuss everything from sports inclusion to music, wellness and more.
Looking forward, Price hopes to include more adaptive sports content soon. “It’s an untapped market that I’d like to take advantage of. We have already built a connection with the USGA for their golf tournaments, and have relationships with some of the universities (with adaptive sports programs), so I’d like to explore that a little bit more with wheelchair basketball teams and tennis teams.”
DiMe adds new content each month and is always looking for new films to feature and opens in a new windowfor feedback from users. The streaming service is free and can be accessed on the DiMe opens in a new windowwebsite or through Roku, Fire TV and Apple TV.