New Disability TV Network In The Works
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 26, 2005
WILTON, CONNECTICUT--A group of advocates chose the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act to publicly announce plans to start a 24-hour television channel "of, for and by people who have disabilities . . . and everybody else".
The People With disabilities Broadcasting Corporation (PWdBC) plans to feature network-quality comedies, dramas, reality TV, sports, news and other information programs, all from a disability point-of-view, but appealing to a much wider audience.
PWdBC plans to not only give the disability perspective and provide more accurate portrayals of people with disabilities, it also intends to increase the employment of large numbers of talented technicians, producers, directors, actors, writers, and other artists. People with disabilities are to make up between 17 to 25 percent of the initial network staff -- both behind and in front of the camera. As time goes on, more people with disabilities are expected to be mentored and trained to take on production and on-air roles.
"It is important for us in the disability community to advocate and legislate, but it's time for us to create and celebrate both our historical and future contributions to American popular culture," said Howard Renensland, PWdBC Founder and President.
Renensland said he is highly motivated to make the world a better place for his adult daughter who has a developmental disability. He believes that creating the first fully-inclusive television network will do just that.
"We feel strongly that the global concerns of people with disabilities will be most rapidly advanced through the successful inclusion of persons who have disabilities within the structure of mass media itself," Renensland explained.
PWdBC is currently working to develop partnerships and developing its initial business plan.
Right now, they are working to get the word out about its up-and-coming media presence and in getting support and input into this project. It is also developing a pool of talent to draw upon for the next few steps.
Please visit the PWdBC website for more information or to send in your resumes, demos, and contact information.
[Editor's note: I was brought in on this in an advisory capacity a few weeks ago. I will update you from time to time as this project progresses. -- Dave]
People With disabilities Broadcasting Corporation