Across the UK there are disability influencers paving the way for a more inclusive society. With the announcement of this year’s Shaw Trust Disability Power 100, one member of the list reveals why it’s so beneficial for the disabled community.
Kim Tserkezie is a prominent figure in the film and television industry and the disabled community.
Throughout Kim’s career, the actress, writer, producer and disability activist has worked to challenge perceptions of disability in the wider mainstream media.
This dedication to change attitudes saw Kim named as a member of the Shaw Trust Power 100.
“To be in the company of so many incredible disabled people who are doing tremendous work, I was really shocked,” enthuses Kim.
The Shaw Trust Power 100 is an annual publication detailing information on the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK. It is an integral list in challenging attitudes towards disability, raising awareness, and continuing the discussions on disability inclusion.
“It is great that the Power list exists as a resource for young disabled people,” continues Kim. “Showing disabled people working and achieving in various fields may influence them to follow their own dreams and ambitions.”
And, for Kim, encouraging disabled people has been a driving force behind her 25-year long career. From her first big break as a presenter for BBC’s Disability Today and From the Edge, to appearing in the BAFTA award winning, Balamory, Kim – who has spinal muscular atrophy – has fought for media inclusion.
Kim emphasises: “In my own personal life, since a child, I’ve had to explain and find ways on how to participate and have the same rights as my non-disabled peers. Working in entertainment, it was obvious for me to challenge the industry, too.”
“This is something I naturally do, but I also want to do it to continue pushing boundaries for disabled people. It is my responsibility to do it. I don’t want the next generation to have the same struggles as I’ve had.”
Alongside being featured on the Shaw Trust Power 100 list, running her own production company, Scattered Pictures, which promotes diverse and emerging talent, Kim is currently playing the lead role in Obsession – a BFI funded short film – which wasn’t initially a disabled character.
“By putting me in that role, they have added another layer to the story and a fresh way of telling the story,” says Kim.
“It is an area that explores domestic abuse and I have never seen disabled women in that narrative or on screen before.”
Kim is making waves in her career and in campaigning and beyond to ensure all disabled people experience the same representation.
Kim adds: “Audiences are ready to see disabled people; and what’s more disabled people are audiences too. Commissioners are key – they can and need to be more inclusive in their choices.”
Everyone on the Shaw Trust’s Power 100 is working to take attitudes and opinions on disability forward; and Kim Tserkezie is one driving force behind representation of disability in the media.