While more than six and half million members of the public tuned in to watch The Apprentice on BBC One at the beginning of December and saw an entertaining reality show, I personally saw a show which discriminates against disabled people, broadcast to an entire nation and beyond.
Since The Apprentice started in 2005, 177 candidates have taken part in the show in order to impress Alan Sugar – but not one of those candidates has been visibly disabled.
That’s a staggering statistic when you think about it; out of the 11 series aired and nearly 200 candidates selected, not one disabled person has been involved in the show. Ever.
What The Apprentice would appear to do is drive the wedge even further between disabled and able-bodied people. It perpetuates the idea that a disabled person can’t compete with the other candidates – this despite disabled people making up 19 per cent of the working population.
The show displays a diverse range of candidates when it comes to other issues. Genders, religions, sexualities, races and social backgrounds have all been equally represented – so why not disabilities?
The British Polio Fellowship campaigns tirelessly for disability rights across the UK as many of our members live with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), a condition which leaves many requiring wheelchairs and other forms of aids and adaptations to move.
Around 120,000 people in the UK live with PPS. With around 11.9 million disabled people in the UK, disability is an area that needs support, understanding and backing by those in the spotlight.
Lord Sugar sounds like the perfect candidate for this, don’t you think?
If you are interested in getting involved with British Polio or need the charity’s support, please call on Freephone 0800 043 1935, email at email@example.com or visit the website at www.britishpolio.org.uk.
CEO, The British Polio Fellowship