For the second year in a row, Axiom News generative journalist Deron Hamel was nominated to receive Community Living Peterborough’s media award for the work he does writing about the movement towards an inclusive society for everyone, regardless of ability.
The award is given out to a person or organization that promotes the goals of Community Living Peterborough and helps relate the message of inclusion to the community through various mediums.
Hamel has worked closely with the agency for more than four years and believes the nomination stems from his work to reshape the language used in the media in relation to disabilities.
With the award, Community Living Peterborough recognizes the media has an important role to play in either perpetuating or dispelling myths associated with people who have a disability.
“Everything starts with language,” says Hamel. “How we view the words that we use sets the tone for everything else that flows from the inclusion movement — if you don’t get the language right, everything else is going to fall to pieces.”
From his vantage point with Axiom News, Hamel writes for the Peterborough agency’s parent organization, Community Living Ontario, as well as three other agencies in British Columbia supporting people who have a developmental disability.
He says he’s seen many signs indicating the inclusion movement is moving in the right direction, notably in terms of language in the media.
“I’m seeing enhanced attention to the language issue and I’m seeing people making concerted efforts to rethink the words they use, and that’s in the mainstream media,” says Hamel.
Hamel says simply being nominated for the award is honour enough, because it reaffirms the power of storytelling as a way to highlight the strength and dedication of the people inside the movement towards inclusion, and help build upon that strength as the movement gains momentum.
“The sharing of individual stories about the movement helps create a more inclusive society because the more people who read the stories, the more people there are who’ll be aware that there’s an issue.”
If you have questions or comments feel free to contact Kristian at 800-294-0051, ext. 24, or e-mail kristian(at)axiomnews.ca.