ITV has launched a new on-air marketing campaign to highlight invisible disabilities, as part of its commitment to help create culture change around disability perception and representation.
One in five of us are disabled, and this new campaign featuring famous faces powerfully highlights that just because you cannot see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Developed in partnership with Scope, and devised by ITV Creative, the ad features Chase star Paul Sinha, author and TV personality Katie Piper, actress and Loose Woman Kelle Bryan and Real Housewives of Cheshire star Tanya Bardsley talk about themselves to camera – their hidden talents and achievements, their nicknames, their hobbies, the alternative careers they’d have loved to pursue.
They finish by revealing what many also don’t know about them. That they each have invisible disabilities, and that these are also part of what makes them who they are.
The Chase star Paul Sinha said:
“Ever since my diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease I have noticed how much of the public are only dimly aware of the symptoms, and how much many press outlets deliberately misrepresent. Working with ITV’s Invisible Disabilities is my way of helping redress this.”
Actress and Loose Woman Kelle Bryan said:
“I took part in the campaign because it’s one thing to be given care or humility from society because they can see you struggling but a whole other ball game when you are misjudged or belittled because you are not seen or understood.”
Housewives of Cheshire star Tanya Bardsley, who also stars in the campaign added,
“This campaign is incredibly personal to me and I could not support it more. For so many people across the country, their invisible disability is something they struggle in silence with every day. I hope that, from now, this is no longer the norm.”
Author and TV Personality Katie Piper said:
‘ITV’s Invisible Disabilities Campaign is hugely important to me personally and professionally. It is something I have championed for many years across all of my projects. Being more aware, and embracing inclusion and difference internally and externally is crucial not only in broadcast, but in today’s society. I am a proud ambassador for this campaign, and hope it raises much needed awareness of invisible disabilities in society.’
The ad ends by encouraging audiences to find out more at itv.com/disability. Aimed at promoting understanding around invisible disabilities, the website will house further information about invisible impairments and conditions and tips from disabled people on what non-disabled people can do to be a good ally, alongside testimonials from members of ITV’s internal disability network, ITV Able on their experiences. The site will also include information about ITV’s Diversity and Inclusion plan.
New research commissioned by ITV has found that less than a third of the UK population are aware of the levels of disability in the UK and that among those with a disability, only 40% feel confident about telling people they are disabled.
The Invisible Disabilities campaign is part of ITV’s Social Purpose commitment to shaping culture for good, including fostering creativity by championing diversity, equality and inclusion.
Susie Braun, Director of Social Purpose, ITV said. ‘ITV is pleased to put this important issue centre stage for our viewers. 14 million people in the UK are disabled, but invisible disability isn’t something that is often talked about and recognised. We’re delighted to work with Scope to help change that.’
Paul Fuller, Scope’s Executive Director of Partnerships said: “One in five of us in the UK are disabled, but this is not always obvious. At Scope, we unfortunately hear regularly from disabled people who have experienced negative attitudes, social isolation and a lack of understanding. We hope ITV’s campaign will increase awareness of invisible impairments and conditions. It has the potential to challenge viewers, encourage them to deepen their understanding and to become disability allies. For 30 years I transitioned from sight loss through to blindness, so have extensive lived experience of an ‘invisible disability’. I am delighted ITV has approached Scope to support them and hope this campaign will lead to real impact for disabled people.”
The campaign follows last week’s Tonight programme which focused on the subject of invisible disabilities, presented by Saima Mohsin. In this programme she talked to contributors including Christine McGuinness who talks about having three children with autism, Bobby Trundley, a young racing driver with autism and Evie Toombes, a young para showjumper with spina bifida. Viewers can catch up on Hidden Disabilities: What’s the Truth? Tonight on ITV Hub.