TV Disability Ban A Cruel Hoax?
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 5, 2005
LONDON, ENGLAND--On Friday, April 1, the BBC website's disability section Ouch! ran a troubling news story.
Staff writers reported that a leading British think tank, the "Caydare Centre", was putting 10 million pounds behind an initiative to have all instances of disability banned from television during family viewing time, that is, before 9:00 in the evening.
"If a child were to see images of dribbling, gurning, mania or sensory loss regularly, it could lead to disrupted sleep and behavioural difficulties in the playground," the report quoted the chairman of Caydare Centre, Lord Swaleside. "We urge all broadcasters to look at our code and make sure that they uphold taste and decency for the sake of our children."
As is my usual habit, I did a quick search for "Caydare" and "Lord Swaleside" on Google. Aside from the Ouch! story and some commentary about it, I found nothing anywhere on the Internet.
"If the BBC are putting that on their website for disabled people it is a sick joke," wrote one person on a Times education weblog.
Some commentators immediately spotted it as an April Fool's joke, noting that "Caydare" could be a simple play on the words "Day Care".
"My boyfriends dad is disabled and he found it bloody hilarious," wrote another blogger. "Why is everyone so quick to jump on the 'dont joke on the disabled people' . . . They do have a sense of humour you know!"
As of this writing, I have not found a response from the BBC Ouch! team on its website explaining the joke -- if it is one -- for those of us who just don't 'get it'.