Zoe Grisez

University of Denver - 2023

Working to further disability inclusion in the media

Major: English (with a concentration on creative writing)

Project: I am working to further disability inclusion in the media (TV shows, movies, advertisements, etc.). It is rare that there ever is a disabled character featured in the media, and when they are, they are often depicted as a source of inspiration to make the main characters feel better about their lives. I would like to change that stigma and increase the thought that disabled characters could be a love interest, funny side characters, or really anything!

Inspiration: As I went through the college application process and toured the universities, they all had a point during their presentation where they bragged about how diverse they were. There would be PowerPoint slides showing their diversity, emphasizing on the different races and ethnicities on campus. But there was never a disabled student. As everyone else would nod in agreement that, yes this is a diverse campus, I would shake my head as I never saw someone who looked like me. So I would like to try to encourage FULL diversity and do so through the media.

Future Plans: I hope to increase the number of disabled characters depicted in TV shows and movies. I think it is very important that all minorities are represented so that younger generations can learn more. As younger generations are exposed more and more to different people, they are less likely to think of them as different and more likely to just think of them as people.