Hastings model stars in photo project

A deaf student and model participated in a photography campaign to spread awareness of deafness and disability inclusivity in the media.

Friday, 12th October 2018, 11:27 am
Updated Saturday, 13th October 2018, 3:59 am
Hannah Fisher portrays the role of a deaf lead in a mock up TV show poster. Photo credit: Linda Blacker SUS-181210-112043001

Hannah Fisher, 21, took part in #MoreThanADisability, which featured disabled actors and models in a series of shots designed to look like Hollywood posters of actors in films.

Creative director Grace Mandeville and photographer Linda Blacker teamed up to create the campaign in a bid to challenge the media industry to become more inclusive. The campaign write-up and images were shared on Instagram and on Twitter at @lindablacker, reaching thousands of people.

Hannah signed up with Zebedee Management in 2017, a specialist model and talent agency. Linda and Grace contacted the agency asking if Hannah would like to be involved.

She said: “As a model with a disability, I believe the fashion and media industry could do more work to provide an equal playing ground for the currently underrepresented. By doing this, it will enable our diverse society to overcome stigma and marginalisation.

“I have been deaf since I was two after contracting meningitis. Growing up, I was often worried about the appearance of my hearing aid and would frequently try to cover it with my hair. Sometimes, when meeting new people I purposely wouldn’t even tell them I was deaf as I was afraid of being treated differently and, as a consequence, this led to social anxiety and feelings of isolation.

“I didn’t know many people with a disability and very rarely saw a person with a disability in films or the media industry, therefore I felt different and self-conscious.

“I mainly get by on lipreading, it is a natural skill that has developed over the years and I have become very good at it, albeit extremely tiresome.

“Sharing my image for the world to see was slightly out of my comfort zone, as I have never done anything like it before. I think there needs to be more awareness on deafness and disability inclusivity in the media and also in everyday life, and by putting myself out there in taking part in this incredible campaign, I believe this to be the first stepping stone of more to come.”

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