Leonard Cheshire Disability has unveiled six brand new Creature Discomforts characters online to tie in with a six week campaign to change attitudes to disability. www.CreatureDiscomforts.org
Three disabled entrepreneurs backed by Leonard Cheshire Disability and Barclays provided the voices for three of the news Creature Discomforts characters.
Debbie Reynolds, Chris Davis and Adrian Carter are clients on a flagship initiative called Ready to Start, which runs in 27 different towns and cities and provides support to disabled people to start their own business.
Debbie Reynolds, Barclays Trading Places Awards Runner Up 2007 voices Cath the Cat, Chris Davis, proprietor of Wicked Waists voices Callum the Chameleon and Adrian Carter, proprietor of Carter’s Home Cooking voices Ossie the Owl.
The new characters are based on the unscripted voices of young disabled entrepreneurs talking about the issues that affect their lives. One animation, featuring Adrian and Chris highlights attitudes towards disabled people in education.
The animation opens with a young owl in a wheelchair, who says: “It took me a little while to build up the courage to get back into the gist of going into education. Because you’re interacting again isn’t it, you’re back out there with the public.
“People look at you like, ooh, he’s in a wheelchair, he’s at Uni, like. Good on ya mate, you know what I mean.”
It cuts to a blind chameleon in a classroom who says: “They can be quite judgemental about your disabilities. But then the number of people who’ve told me ‘you can’t do that’, it really annoys me. Especially seeing as I can do it better than them sometimes.”
Ready to Start is a three year programme which will help more than 600 disabled people realise their dream of running a successful business.
More than 50 per cent of disabled people in full time employment work for themselves, a much higher percentage than the rest of the population.
Bryan Dutton, Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Director General said, “Disabled people experience unnecessary barriers which are created largely through ignorance. The public’s low expectations, especially of their ability to pursue education or a career, play a big part in this.
“We want people to change the way they see disability, to think and act differently and to engage with disabled people in all aspects of life.”
For a preview of the campaign visit www.CreatureDiscomforts.org. Throughout the summer, the characters will appear in adverts on ITV, online and at bus stops.