New York, NY – May 17, 2018 – Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and a global media and technology company, today announced a partnership with the National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA), a cross-disability coalition led by 17 national organizations headed by people with disabilities, and Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, to launch The Disability Collection – a growing collection of images that more accurately portrays individuals with disabilities and breaks stereotypes. To expand and grow the Collection, Oath, the NDLA and Getty Images developed comprehensive set of guidelines for how to authentically reflect people with disabilities in photography, which will be shared and promoted across Getty Images' global network of photographers, launching today on Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
"People with disabilities have historically been underrepresented, and often misrepresented in the media," said Mike Shebanek, Head of Accessibility at Oath. "We believe the media has the power to shut down stereotypes and we are calling on the industry to commit to more inclusive representation. Together we can create this long overdue change."
Many of the images of disability that are traditionally used in the media reflect only the "heroic" or the "pitiful"— stereotypes of disability—when, disability is much more diverse. The Disability Collection will repicture disability in a way that is dignified, modern, diverse, authentic and human. The project invites photographers to portray disability as a natural part of someone's identity, instead of portraying disability as something that needs to be "cured," "fixed" or overcome. Disability is intersectional so the Collection will intentionally include representation across age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, socio-economic, religion and culture with a focus on traditionally underrepresented groups.
"At a time when imagery is the most widely spoken global language, it has never been more important to produce and promote a visual language that is progressive and inclusive, and to support diverse voices in doing so," said Rebecca Swift, Director of Visual Insights at Getty Images. "While we cannot change what people publish or click on overnight, we can provide better alternatives for those looking to create more authentic stories. The Disability Collection strives to be a collection of authentic and empowering images of people with disabilities in everyday life."
Getty Images' customer search data shows the significant desire for high-quality, modern images that accurately represent people with disabilities. Global search data from 2016 to 2017 indicates that searches for "wheelchair access" increased 371% year over year on GettyImages.com. Additionally, "disabled worker" was up 254%, "autism awareness" increased 196%, and "deafness" was up 144%.
"Member organizations of the National Disability Leadership Alliance – and the disability community in general – have worked for decades to see ourselves accurately reflected in media. Despite some progress, often the media still gets important details wrong," said James Weisman, NDLA Steering Committee. "This landmark initiative — the first of its kind developed with the guidance of the disability community itself — signals a promising new way forward. Oath and Getty Images understand that media will only get real about disability when disabled people lead the way. NDLA is thrilled about the launch of the collaboration and its future growth."
Disability leaders have been central to this project since the formation, and the project is guided by insights from disability-specific focus groups hosted by Oath and the NDLA. Oath, the NDLA, and Getty are encouraging photographers, including those with disabilities, to join in creating and growing this groundbreaking Collection. Getty Images and Oath will be providing the necessary resources and opportunities to help content creators broadcast their vision, including funding art directed shoots and competitions that encourage photographers to capture this imagery.
To learn more about The Disability Collection, visit www.thedisabilitycollection.com.
Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon, is a values-led company committed to building brands people love. Oath reaches one billion people around the world with a dynamic house of media and technology brands. A global leader in digital and mobile, Oath is shaping the future of media and technology. For more on Oath, visit www.oath.com. Learn more about the work Accessibility at Oath is doing at Oath.com/Accessibility.
Ashley Schlag, Director of Communications at Oath
Phone: (212) 402-7281
About Getty Images
Getty Images is one of the most trusted and esteemed sources of visual content in the world, with over 300 million assets including photos, videos, and music, available through its industry-leading sites www.gettyimages.com and www.istock.com. The Getty Images website serves creative, business and media customers in nearly every country in the world and is the first place people turn to discover, purchase and share powerful visual content from the world's best photographers and videographers. Getty Images works with over 240,000 contributors and hundreds of image partners to provide comprehensive coverage of more than 160,000 news, sport and entertainment events each year, impactful creative imagery to communicate any commercial concept and the world's deepest digital archive of historic photography.
Visit Getty Images at www.gettyimages.com to learn more about how the company is advancing the unique role of still and moving imagery in communication and business, and enabling creative ideas to come to life. For company news and announcements, visit our Press Room, and for the stories and inspiration behind our content, visit Stories & Trends. Find Getty Images on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr, or download the Getty Images app where you can explore, save and share the world's best imagery.
Anne Flanagan, Director & Head of External Communications at Getty
Phone: (206) 925-7016
About the National Disability Leadership Alliance
National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA) is a national cross-disability coalition that represents the authentic voice of people with disabilities. NDLA is led by 15 national organizations run by people with disabilities with identifiable grassroots constituencies around the country. The NDLA steering committee includes: ADAPT, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the American Council of the Blind, the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, the Hearing Loss Association of America, Little People of America, the National Association of the Deaf, the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Federation of the Blind, the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities, Not Dead Yet, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, and the United Spinal Association.
Gary Arnold, for NDLA - Program Director, Progress Center for Independent Living