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in the boardroom, a spot lit carpetted room with a large plasma screen at one end, which a group of about 15 people are facing.

Our View photographed by Anthony Alleyne

Our View

This week we had the first Our View event in the glamorous, yet appropriate, setting of the Channel4 Boardroom.  There was a bit of a media focus throughout the event, as creating a cultural shift in the way disabled and deaf people are seen, is intrinsically linked to changing portrayals in the media.  Editor of Disability Arts Online and Core Group member, Colin Hambrook, talked about the wide reaching readership of DAO.   We also had small group discussion about the Channel4 film, Inside Incredible Athletes. These groups were led by other Core Group members Kristina Veasey, Jamie Beddard and Sarah Playforth. There was a particularly interesting debate about disabled role models and whether this programme helped to raise the profile of disabled people generally, not just Paralympians.  Also is the role model of a Paralympian unrealistic for many disabled people to “live up to”.  This debate has continued on the Our View page of the Accentuate website, it is well worth a read to give you a sense of how complex and important this issue is.  The highlight of the event was EastEnders star and Accentuate Ambassador, David Proud, leading a session about uScreen, the innovative new web facility for young disabled film makers.  Many people were really excited to see how this site could potentially benefit their projects or some of the young people they are working with.

We also had a very interesting session about initiating change.  We heard from project people Liz Porter, who works with Creative Landscapes and Richard Saunders who is part of Major Events, particularly associated with the Disabled British Open Golf.  They talked about their experiences of working with their projects and the impact it was having helping to change attitudes and making events more accessible.  Jon Adams Core Group member also discussed his role working within Portsmouth University and as a regional council member for Arts Council South East.

Our View is a group of deaf and disabled people who sit at the heart of Accentuate.  The Our View Core Group work with the Accentuate team, acting as an internal steering committee.  They also attend events as Accentuate Ambassadors and blog about these on our website.  Our View Project People are linked to particular projects and work in a more detailed way to inform the delivery of their project. 

This event was extremely significant as it was the first time the whole of Our View came together.  Whilst the Accentuate team have been meeting with the Our View Core Group regularly, this was the first time all the project people were brought together too.  The wonderful thing about the day was sharing experiences; as different project people spoke about their detailed involvement with their individual projects and the Core Group discussed their more strategic involvement, Accentuate came alive.  We look forward to seeing how Our View will continue to shape Accentuate over the coming months.

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