Celebrating difference: Producer calls for participants in TV dating & relationships series
Northern Pictures has announced Employable Me, which follows neurodiverse people seeking employment, will screen on ABC TV in April.
The hope is that the series will help employers, and the wider community, understand more about neurodiversity and encourage people to “look beyond a condition and see the skills and talents an individual can bring to a workplace”.
The idea for a series about relationships and dating came about after the Northern Pictures team worked closely with autistic people when filming Employable Me.
“We found that many of our participants were single, but wanted a special person in their lives,” Northern Pictures’ Cian O’Clery says.
“Hearing these stories over and over made us think it would be a good idea to explore this area further, and try to help out if we can.
“By focusing on people on the autism spectrum, we have the opportunity to delve deep and educate the audience, breaking down some of the many misconceptions and stereotypical views.
“As the saying goes, ‘if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.’
“We are not wanting to impose a point of view or an agenda. The participants in the series will be the voices of the documentary, and we are keen for a diverse range of voices.
“We aim to celebrate our participants and their differences. We want this to be a positive series, for the people we include, and for the autism community. We are working closely with individuals on the spectrum, autism organisations and experts in the field”.
O’Clery says Northern Pictures has over the past few years had a drive to represent diversity on our screens because it’s a powerful way to change perceptions.
The company’s award winning documentaries include Changing Minds: The Inside Story, an ABC TV series de-stigmatising mental illness.
“The key team members from Changing Minds are also responsible for this project and we plan to bring the same ethical approach and sensitivity to this series,” O’Clery says.
If you are interested in participating in the dating and relationships project, or know someone who might be, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org