With Brexit taking over the news this week (and many weeks to come!) it may be easy to forget other things have been happening in the world. So at Dancing Giraffe we’ve decided to start a weekly news round-up, highlighting some of the stories in the news that you may have missed.
Survival rates for teenagers and young adults with cancer are improving in England
A joint report from both the Teenage Cancer Trust and Public Health England has revealed that more young people in England are surviving cancer. The study showed that mortality rates for all cancers in 13 to 24 year olds have decreased from 42.9 million in 2001 to 32.3 per million in 2015. However the report also revealed that the incidence of cancer in 13 to 24 year olds has increased in this time and there were variations in survival rates based on geography and deprivation.
Recently released film, ‘The Upside’ continues to gain media coverage around the world. Bryan Cranston, an able bodied actor, portrays Phillip Lacasse, a wealthy quadriplegic man who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Dell Scott, a recently paroled man played by Kevin Hart. The casting of the hugely talented Cranston has driven debate about ableism in Hollywood. Should an able-bodied actor have been chosen to play a quadriplegic character?
Cranston has defended his casting whilst speaking to the Press Association “As actors, we’re asked to be other people, to play other people,” he continues, “If I, as a straight, older person, and I’m wealthy, I’m very fortunate, does that mean I can’t play a person who is not wealthy, does that mean I can’t play a homosexual?”
But, many are disappointed with Cranston’s casting and his comments, including Melissa Blake of CNN, who makes the point that, “We’re in an age where so many actors with disabilities are willing and able to play these roles, only to be overlooked in favour of able-bodied actors.” However, Rachel Charlton-Dailey says in The Metro this week that although ableism may be rife in Hollywood, things are much better in British TV Soaps where disability representation on our screens is increasing.
Number of student with disabilities going to university has increased to record levels
Chris Skidmore MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, has urged universities to do as much as possible to support students with disabilities. Figures published this week have revealed that number of disabled students starting university in 2017/18 rose to record levels. However, at 13% of entrants in total, this is still below the proportion of working-age adults with a disability. Encouraged by the increase though, the Minister will hold discussions on how the higher education sector can continue to break down barriers for students with disabilities.
Comedian appeals fine for sick joke about a disabled child
In 2016 Canadian comedian, Mike Ward, was fined $42,000 by the Quebec’s Human Rights Tribunal for making a sick joke about a disabled child. The comedian has now lodged an appeal against this ruling with his lawyer arguing in court that although the joke “might have been distasteful – it must remain legal in a free and democratic society.” The outcome of Ward’s appeal is to be decided at a later date. More information on the case can be found at the Vancouver Sun and the comedy news site, Chortle.