The first awards ceremony for good and bad portrayal of disabled people in the media is taking place tonight, Tuesday December 3, International Disabled People's Day.
The awards known as "Raspberry Ripples" are organised by the One in Eight Group which comprises people who work in the media industry.
The awards are a light hearted attempt to ask those who create and produce images to think about how they are portraying the 1 in 8 of the population who are disabled. The One in Eight Group want disabled people to be shown as an ordinary part of life in all forms of representation.
There are eight awards in all and each will be presented by a disabled member of the 1 in 8 Group and a well known supporter of the Group. Amongst those attending and giving awards are Saffron Burrows, Gabrielle Glaister, Sue Johnson, Gary Kemp, Corin Redgrave, Gwyneth Strong, Harriet Walter, Richard Wilson and Lindsay Duncan.
These awards were nominated by readers of Time Out, Disability Arts in London and Supporters of the Group.
Special award for the best Children's Television portrayal of disabled people -Grange Hill- BBC Children's TV.
The winner of the worst non-fiction programme/film portrayal of disabled people category was "Children in Need '95, BBC TV" because of the images and philosophy of disabled children being "needy". Runners up were "The Visit, Carlton" and "You Decide, BBC".
The winner of the best non-fiction programme/film portrayal of disabled people in 1995/6 category was "Old School Ties" - four half hour programmes broadcast by BBC2 in September 1995 on the battle for inclusive education for disabled children. Runners up "The Para Olympics coverage on BBC2", "Julia's Daughter, Channel 4" and "Link", disability magazine programme on a Sunday Morning on ITV."
The winner of the worst TV drama portrayal of disabled people was "Taggart-Dead Man's Chest", Scottish TV for ITV - a four part story loosely based on 'Treasure Island', set in modern day urban Scotland, featuring a blind villain, a one legged villain and a murderous woman with mental distress. Runners up "Neighbours" (for Billy's Dyslexia), "Coronation Street", "Eastenders" and "Casualty" - Sept 95 for negative portrayal of learning difficulties.
The winner of the best TV drama portrayal category was "Skallagrig, BBC TV" - for the casting of disabled people and showing how disabled people have and are treated in institutions. Runners up "Our Friends in the North" (Mary's brother), "A Touch of Frost-Appropriate Adults", Yorkshire TV and "Brookside" (for Baby Alice,) Channel 4".
The winner of the worst feature film portrayal of disabled people category was "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," Disney for creating the image of an outcast incapable of adult relationships. Runners up were "Forest Gump", "Richard III" and "Scent of a Woman".
The winner of the best feature film category was "Four Weddings and a Funeral" - for the inclusion of a disabled character - the deaf brother - in a non-sterotyped way. Runner up "Mr Holland's Opus".
Special Award for the innovative and positive casting of disabled actors and their portrayal goes to Marleen Gorris for her film "Antonia's Line" in which disabled actors and characters with learning difficulties are included as an ordinary part of this wonderful film.
Monitoring forms are being distributed to 1 in 8 Supporters so the nominations for 1997 Awards will be based on a thorough surveillance of TV, radio, film and theatre.
SOURCE One in Eight Group