Preview: Disasters in Diversity: Disability in Media
Day Al-Mohamed is a Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of Labor and focuses on Disability Employment. She also works with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is the Founding Director of the Lead On Network, is a writer of fiction and fantasy novels, and in the past few years has started writing for comics and films.
Al-Mohamed will be attending SXSW for the first time and will speak in the panel Disasters in Diversity: Disability in Media, along with fellow panelists Lawrence Carter-Long and Susan Mazrui. This panel will discuss the portrayal of disability in popular culture and how to create genuine disabled characters and stories.
I had the opportunity to speak with Al-Mohamed about what she does and what the audience should expect to hear at the panel.
What sparked your interest in this field and topic?
It was a great way to combine my policy and advocacy interest with my creative activities. I was already seeing dearth of disability diversity in publishing and of course wanted to see more inclusivity.
What should the audience expect to hear at the panel?
I hope we can not only highlight what is not there but also how problematic are some of the depictions of disability. Show some examples of where things have gone wrong, some obvious, and some not so obvious. Focus on the tropes and how this kind of cookie-cutter storytelling isn’t just non-diverse writing, but bad writing. Make people laugh a little through the examples.
What are you most excited about for the conference?
Just to be there. I’m excited and a little trepidatious.
What do you hope would be the greatest take away people who attend the panel will have?
Including disability is not difficult to do, but that it is important to remember as a part of diversity. And, from too many years of lobbying, I’d like to have a concrete ask of those attending.
Check out the interview and hear more of what Al-Mohamed has to say about the Disasters in Diversity: Disability in Media panel!
When and Where:
Monday, March 13
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
JW Marriott – Room 203-204 / 110 E. 2nd St.
Find out more: Disasters in Diversity: Disability in Media