Ask me anything
Video campaign. Disability inclusion. Asia and the Pacific.
In Asia and the Pacific, 690 million men, women and children, live with some form of disability. Despite non-discrimination laws, they still face stigma. There are numerous barriers that restrict their full and effective participation in society, and persons with disabilities are among those at highest risk of being left behind in the development process.
Reelmedia Film worked with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to create a short video on disability inclusion. In a relaxed café setting, WFP staff were paired with a person with a disability and given the opportunity to ask questions they would usually feel too awkward to ask. Unable to film in-person because of a rapidly changing travel environment, caused by COVID, Reelmedia film worked with in-country crews to film and photograph.
What did we do? Creative direction • Scriptwriting • Film logistics • Post-production
“Disability is not “bad” or
something to be ashamed of – it is a part of human diversity, just as race, gender, ethnicity, sexual
orientation and so on.”
– United Nations.
According to a recent statistic, 60% of people admit to avoiding conversations with people living with disabilities out of fear of awkwardness. This attitude, among other factors, leads to people living with disabilities being excluded from full and equal participation in society. Framed by this background, Ask me anything confronts the barriers to disability inclusion head-on. In a relaxed café setting, WFP staff, who have never had a conversation with a person with a disability before, are paired with someone with a visible or invisible disability, and given the opportunity to pose questions that they would usually feel too awkward to ask. The questions will be varied, some light-hearted and others more emotive, building a story as they progress. As each pair move through the questions, laughing and being playful along the way, we’ll see any awkwardness between them evaporating, being replaced with a new level of understanding, encouraging the audience to champion disability inclusion in their work
For WFP to help countries achieve zero hunger, and ultimately, eliminate the need for food aid itself, special attention needs to be given to people with disabilities. Like many other vulnerable groups, people with disabilities are among the hungriest and the most malnourished. The correlation between hunger and malnutrition, as a cause and a consequence of disabilities, is astonishingly high.
WFP staff, many of them and also their family members, live with disabilities. Each one of them has a pivotal role to play in championing disability inclusion in order to fulfil the mandate of the organisation. For this to happen, there needs to be a culture shift that fosters and facilitates conversations and interventions to help break down detrimental attitudinal barriers towards people with disabilities and promote disability inclusion in their work.