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.
This site focuses on media, not publishing, so we get this question a lot: Why Disabled Writers instead of Disabled Journalists? Because we don’t want imposter syndrome to dissuade aspiring journalists from signing up. Initiatives like #CripLit are doing great work in the publishing space, though!
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.
Please be advised that people listed in this database aren’t seeking unpaid writing “opportunities.” They expect to be paid at rates comparable to those offered to other writers in your organization. On a larger scale, pay transparency can be a sound business tactic that builds trust and facilitates more open communications. Consider being up front about your rates!
“Diversity” isn’t just a buzzword. Ample research illustrates that diversity improves business and social outcomes. Build a better newsroom. Today.