As a step forward in creating an inclusive society, stock image company Getty Images are celebrating the first birthday of their Disability Collection, which now totals more than 1,000 diverse and real images.
The collection was brought to life through a partnership with the National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA) and Verizon Media and was informed by six disability-specific focus groups and a survey completed by over 1,000 respondents.
Totalling over 1,000 images, The Disability Collection uses real people to represent disability diversity, including socioeconomic status, age, gender, ethnicity and sexuality.
Creative Research Project Manager at Getty Images ANZ, Petra O’Halloran says it’s always been the company’s goal to authentically represent people from every walk of life.
“The Disability Collection displays people with disabilities as they are, working with the subjects as they choose to be represented in the media and beyond.
“We’re excited to celebrate the one-year anniversary of this collection and see its continued growth and development, as we expand the collection in Australia.”
Communications Director for the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund for the NDLA, Lawrence Carter-Long says the collection is unique in representing diverse and authentic disability experience without the stereotypes and negative “overcoming disability” connotations.
“Creating and curating images that show people with disability in an honourable, honest, and human way on this scale has never been done before.
“Co-partnering with Getty Images and Verizon Media on The Disability Collection has prioritised centreing people with disabilities in ways that allow us to shape and decide how we want to be represented in the media and beyond.
“That, in turn, influences how we view ourselves within society.
“The Disability Collection is making great strides in creating a world in which we all feel, and are, seen. That’s progress.”
Senior Director of Creative Insights at Getty Images, Dr Rebecca Swift says the partnership was imperative in informing the collection.
“Today, imagery is the most widely spoken global language, which means it has never been more important to produce and promote a visual language that is progressive and inclusive.
“That’s why we partnered with NDLA and Verizon Media to create imagery that genuinely reflects the reality of living with disabilities.
“Through this collection, we aim to empower the media and advertising industry to get real about disability representation,” Dr Swift says.
Head of Accessibility at Verizon Media, Mike Shebanek says the collection is a “game-changer” making it easy for people to find and use images of disability that authentically reflects and includes the audiences they seek to serve.
“Until now, it has been difficult for companies and small businesses to find modern, dignified and diverse images of people with disabilities.
“The Disability Collection changes that … by solving the practical issues of finding authentic images and elevating conversations we should be having about diverse representation on a societal level.”
Between 2017 and 2018, Getty Images reported a 98 percent increase in searches for disability-related images.
You can find Getty Images’ Disability Collection here.