Media Trust challenges the media sector to represent the 22%

Posted 16 November 2022

22% of people in the UK have a disability, but you wouldn’t know this from media representation.


At Media Trust, we believe in the power of media to change lives. But we know that this can only happen if the media truly represents the diversity of people who live in the UK, including the 22% who have a disability. Currently, disabled people are significantly underrepresented in the media. And when disabled people are featured, too often their stories are told by people who don’t have lived experience of disability. So, building on our work to reframe disability in the news, we’re inviting the whole media sector to Represent the 22% by ensuring at least 22% of their content on Saturday 3 December 2022 (the International Day for Persons with Disabilities) relates to disability or is created by disabled people.  

To find out more about the campaign, or to support our disability-focussed initiatives, get in touch with Media Trust’s Head of MarComms, Sinéad Molloy. To find out more about Media Trust and our work, sign up for updates here.


We’re thrilled by how many of our industry partners have jumped at the challenge, including the BBC and ITN, which produces Channel 4 News, 5 News, ITV News London and Jeremy Vine Extra.  Channel 4 News is planning to feature a segment on Canada’s upcoming COP15 conference helmed by reporter Ruben Reuter (who has Down’s syndrome), while 5 News will be giving over 22% of their daily hour-long news programme to disability-related content, through a combination of disabled guest contributors and interviews featuring people whose lives are shaped by disability. And ITV News London – a programme that’s built a reputation for featuring disabled people’s stories all year round – will be focussing on housing problems for disabled people living in London. Additionally, on 2 December, Jeremy Vine Extra will host a live debate on disability representation, with input from the audience. 

We know that disabled people continue to be significantly underrepresented across our industry and it’s therefore vital for us to work together to close that disability gap. Initiatives like the Represent the 22% challenge help to focus a collective effort and will hopefully inspire others across our industry to take action. At ITN, our long-term strategy is to attract, retain and grow disabled talent, both on and off camera, in order to better reflect and highlight the issues and stories that matter to our audiences, and for a lasting and meaningful impact beyond the International Day for People with Disabilities.

Lucile Kamar, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at ITN


The campaign is aimed at raising awareness that disability is massively under-represented in the media and advertising. We know how much representation matters – not just because of the sense of agency that disabled people gain when they’re seen but also because it impacts how businesses and employers think about disability. We need to improve disabled representation if we want to make disabled consumers more aspirational for brands and businesses, and if we want to close the disability employment gap and pay gap.

At Disability Rights UK, lived experience of disabled people drives everything that we do. But in the media, disabled people are so rarely handed the mic, or given a seat at the table. That’s why we’re really proud to support Represent the 22%, a campaign which seeks to ensure disabled voices are better heard, and to mobilise non-disabled people to join us as agents of change.

Kamran Mallick - CEO, Disability Rights UK  

Meet some of the Represent the 22% participants:

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