BBC launches month-long disability season


A month-long season of BBC films examining the lives of young disabled people will feature issues such as parenting, hate crime, relationships, and the qualities required of personal assistants.

BBC Three’s Defying The Label season will begin on Monday 20 July with Don’t Take My Baby, a factual drama about a disabled couple’s struggle to keep their daughter.

Among the current affairs offerings, Adam Pearson (pictured) is the latest presenter to explore the issue of disability hate crime, aiming to find out why it is “under-reported, under-recorded and under the radar”, in The Ugly Face Of Disability Hate Crime.

Artist, campaigner and presenter Sophie Morgan travels to Africa to ask whether Ghana is the “world’s worst place to be disabled”.

Among her discoveries, Morgan is taken by a disabled activist to meet a so-called “fetish priest”, who admits that he will dispose of a disabled child for money.

The Defying The Label season also features a two-part mini-series which takes a group of young people and interviews them for a job as personal assistant for a disabled person their own age, and follows their experiences over the course of 10 days.

Two programmes in the season are set at segregated, specialist colleges.

One, Life Begins Now, looks at six students with learning difficulties as they prepare to graduate and “enter the real world”.

Another, The Unbreakables: Life And Love On Disability Campus, looks at “the everyday antics” of students with high support needs who are living away from home for the first time, at the National Star College in Gloucestershire.

Other programmes in the season examine young people adjusting to life after serious brain injuries; an 11-year-old boy who wants his leg to be amputated because a genetic condition has left his body affected by more than 200 tumours; a disabled teen who has been forced to leave the care system; and the challenges facing four young people with epilepsy.

There is also a one-off mock gameshow, The Totally Senseless Gameshow, which “explores disability by disabling its celebrity contestants”, and “plays with taboos and flips between the action on stage to a behind-the-scenes comedy drama back-stage”.

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