As people may know I wrote the title of my blogs a few weeks in advance so I have time to think. I am know aware that in this year’s Big Brother, which I am watching after a few years break, that is a housemate, Sam, who is hard of hearing, although he is not very open about his impairment and I would doubt considers himself to be disabled. This leads me to ask why this year there is not an out and proud disabled housemate?
I have always seen Big Brother as a measure of society’s acceptance of issues and after Steve, not Baron a few years ago, I had hoped the level and complexity of impairment of a housemate would increase but sadly not. And I fear one reason for this has been the increased use of the tragedy model by charities and groups like Disabled People Against Cuts and WeRSparticus who have undone 30 years of social inclusion, turning the public perceptions of disabled people from that of being potential pioneers of inclusion to objects of pity.
A politically sensitive Channel 5 will not wish to upset the public or more likely the disability extremists by turning the show into a debate of welfare reforms upsetting the pity the public now has for disabled people as a result of the destructive anti-cuts lobby who are proclaiming their prejudices against disabled people as the new norm. Big Brother is possibly a concrete example of the damage being done in the inclusion of disabled people by those who have stolen our voice.