This learning resource page has been designed to accompany our Look Mum, Let's Talk About Disability social media films.
It’s here to support and enhance engagement and understanding of the questions raised in the films by offering a variety of activities at home or in the classroom, all aimed at bringing the questions to life.
The 6 short films respond to common questions around disability asked by young people and raise awareness of the social model of disability in a playful and fun way.
Aimed at young audiences but accessible to everyone!
The concept came from our experiences of working with young people, fielding the many honest questions they are curious to ask about what it means to be disabled and a wheelchair user.
It’s a great opportunity for us to have the space to answer young people's questions in meaningful and creative ways!
All of the films have integrated captions and audio description.
Produced in collaboration with Mimbre and commissioned by The Space
Do you always need help?
“Sometime I need help… sometimes I don't”
Exploring the concept of independence for Disabled people through a dance routine that contrasts a wheelchair user freely moving in their adapted kitchen with the reality of the challenges they face when navigating an inaccessible trip to their local shop.
Performer: Laura Dajao
What’s wrong with you?
“Disabled people, like me, get asked this question a lot.”
Addressing the emotional impact of constantly answering questions about disability. Using abstract and absurd imagery this playful film allows us to understand the best way to ask questions.
Performers: Kat Ball and Danielle Summers
How do you get somewhere when there are only stairs?
“If there are only stairs it means that I can't go… so I miss out, which isn't fair.”
Highlighting the challenges of navigating an inaccessible world for wheelchair users. Reality meets fantasy as performers intertwine to create a living stair lift, but at the end of the day our wheelchair user still misses out.
Performers: Maiya Leeke, Freya Stokka and Arielle Lauzon
Why do you use a wheelchair if you can walk?
“I use a wheelchair because walking can be difficult.”
Debunking the myth that all wheelchair users are always “bound” to their wheelchairs. Using dance, storytelling and acrobatics this film demonstrates this often misunderstood concept.
Performers: Kat Ball and Danielle Summers
What’s it like to use a wheelchair?
“The first time made me feel nervous.. Now I love it”
Celebrating the journey from initial concerns to the discovery of freedom and independence. This playful film highlights the barriers but ends with a joyous celebration of freedom and independence.
Performers: Kat Ball, Maiya Leeke, Laura Dajao, Danielle Summers and Daryl Beeton
How do you get into your bed?
“Some people think I sleep with my chair, but I don't!”
Exploring common misconceptions about the daily lives of wheelchair users with a playful touch. Using dance, acrobatics and a trapeze, this film explores all the possible (and sometimes silly) ways Disabled wheelchair users could get in and out of bed.
Performers: Maiya Leeke, and Freya Stokka
The Social Model of Disability
All of the films have The Social Model of Disability at their heart. But what is the social model?The Social Model has been developed by Disabled people over the last 40 years.
It's a way to understand what it means to be Disabled and moves away from the idea of disability as being something that is fixed or cured, instead it pushes for political and social change, breaking down barriers that currently disable people.
The social model says that a disabled person is not disabled because of their medical condition or impairment but are disabled by the way in which society is organised.
For example, if the world was completely step free, a wheelchair user would no longer be disabled but they would still have their medical condition. They are two different things.
The social model of disability highlights that people are disabled by the barriers operating in society that discriminate against them, and says that disability is created by the way society is organised, rather than a person's medical condition, impairment or difference.
To find out more about the social model of disability at Inclusion London
Activity 1. Talking About Barriers
In each of the films the central character is Disabled and uses a wheelchair. This activity is an exploration of what barriers Disabled people might face, what they are, how they are created and how they can be overcome.
Let's start by exploring the idea of what a barrier is.
- Talk about what pictures the word ‘barrier’ paints in our imaginations.
- Then watch this short animation commissioned by Unlimited which explains the idea behind the social model of disability.
Now think about and discuss these questions:
1) What barriers did they spot in the animation?
2) How were the barriers overcome or changed?
3) How did they benefit the characters in the animation?
Now thinking about the Look Mum, Lets Talk About Disability films can you talk about some of the barriers the characters faced in their story and how they overcame them?
ActivitActivity 2. How accessible is your home?
Explore your home together and then note down any potential barriers you can find that are relevant to disabled people.
Now try to think of creative ways you could overcome or change the barriers you’ve found.
Once you've explored your home, why not do the same with your local area, just like Laura's journey to the shop.
Activity 3. Social model of disability for children and young people
The story of Winnie The Witch is a fun way for children to learn about colour. But it's also a great way to learn about the social model of disability. This is a great activity created by Scope.org.uk
1) Together watch and listen to the story of Winnie The Witch
2) Now thinking about the Social Model of Disability, look at the story again through these lenses....
- Winnie represents society - What does Winne see as the problem?
- The house represents the environment - What's the barrier?
- Wilbur represents disabled people - How might Wilbur feel?
- The birds represent other people's attitudes - How do they behave?
3) Now think about how each of the above have a chat about how these problems or barriers might affect Disabled people.
4) Head over to Scope to read this article in full and see if you came up with some of the same ideas.
Activity 4. Storybooks featuring Disabled characters
A good place to start talking about disability is through representations, again Scope has a great list of storybook featuring disabled characters.
See a full list of recommened books over at Scope
Activity 5. Audio Description
In the films we use audio description to help make our films more accessible. This allows people who are blind or visually impaired to understand the images in the films that they wouldn't get just by simply listening to the audio.
Why not see how good you are at audio description?
1. In pairs, one person picks an object, or photo, to look at that the other person can't see.
2. This person then describes the object or photo as best they can only using words.
3. The other person has to try and draw the object or photo just from what they are hearing.
4. Once complete compare the drawing with the object or photo and see how much they look (or not) like each other.
Produced by Daryl & Co in collaboration with Mimbre
Director: Daryl Beeton
Movement Director: Lina Johansson
Film Maker: Alexandra Boanta
Animator: Jazz Rumsey
Composer: Gareth Cutter
Audio Describer: Elaine Joseph
Performers: Kat Ball, Maiya Leeke, Laura Dajao, Danielle Summers, Freya Stokka, Arielle Lauzon, Daryl Beeton
Costumes Design: Jonathan Van Beek for Kat Ball, Maiya Leeke and Danielle Summers
Content Distributors: Brilla Sesay & Angie McFarlane
Assistant Director: Zsófi Szendrei
Stage Manager: Stella Kailides
Commissioned by The Space