14 - 17 May 2024 OTWorld
27/03/2024 OTWorld

Keynote speaker Schaar: "Who cares about representation? Disabled people in the media"

In a world where our perceptions are shaped by the media, the question remains: How are people with disabilities represented? Which narratives and unconscious thought patterns dominate? In his keynote speech, René Schaar will shed light on how disabilities are portrayed in fictional and non-fictional formats in film and television.

In his keynote speech "Who cares about representation? Disabled people in the media", Schaar scrutinises the roles and characteristics ascribed to people with disabilities and how these stereotypes influence the image of normality and diversity. The diversity manager also presents approaches that enable a more realistic and diverse representation of disabilities and discusses how all people can contribute to a more inclusive society.

René Schaar's keynote speech is a call to consciously utilise the power of images and promote a society that values diversity and includes people with disabilities as experts in their own right.

Promoting participation and a sense of unity

The Hamburg native is a trained image/sound media designer and now works as Diversity Manager at Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR). His goal: participation and a sense of unity.

His past as a video editor has already earned René Schaar awards, such as the Grimme Online Award in 2020 for the realisation of the YouTube format "STRG_F". A particular milestone in Schaar's commitment to inclusive representation was his contribution to the German Sesame Street, where he provided the impetus for the first character with a visible disability in the programme's 50-year history - Elin. This initiative was honoured with the Senator Neumann Prize for Inclusion in 2023. Today, he is not only involved in reshaping the media landscape, but also volunteers as a values ambassador for the non-partisan educational initiative GermanDream and for ahoi e. V., a self-advocacy organisation for people with disabilities.

René Schaar will give his keynote speech on 17 May 2024 at 12 noon. Further details can be found in the congress programme .

Norbert Scheffler, reneschaar.com
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