A reality show for people with disabilities to find love

Isabella Federigi, vice-president of content development and programming at AMI-tv, had the idea for this love reality show after seeing the British show First Datewhich has been broadcast since 2013, and which now includes people with disabilities.

The idea is to break down barriers and break taboos. […] In fact, we need to stop seeing people with disabilities as different, but as people. »

An excerpt from Isabella Federigi

For the show’s producer, Amélie Dionne-Martel of Pixcom, such a show would show that people with disabilities are an important part of society. Diversity should also be seen on televisionhe thought.

Kevin Ouellet is one of the participants in the reality show “And if it was you? “.

Photo: Patrick Maltais Verrette

Plateau-Mont-Royal borough councilor Laurence Parent holds a doctorate in critical disability studies from Concordia University and has researched ableism (discrimination based on disability) in Quebec. He had a hard time judging the show before he saw it.

However, he thinks that this reality show can give visibility to people with disabilities on television and destroy some prejudices, including that people with disabilities are not wanted.

In 2022, the first question we will ask ourselves is why people with disabilities are rarely seen on television and in the media. »

An excerpt from Laurence Parent

However, he hopes that the angle and storyline of the show will not be tragic, seek to inspire compassion or deliver clichés such as people with disabilities that inspire.

Laurence Parent, in a wheelchair, in front of one of the two Bonaventure metro elevators.

Laurence Parent has a PhD in Critical Disability Studies from Concordia University and has done research on ability.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marie-Eve Maheu

We see people with disabilities who are motivated just because they go to school or work, mundane activities of daily life. This kind of feeling is harmful, because it sends the message that disability is negative and burdensome.he explained.

Laurence Parent also wonders why there are no people with disabilities in other reality shows and hopes that the show will serve as an inspiration. Occupation double, mais récemment j’ai découvert Si on s’aimait et je ne vois pas pourquoi on ne pourrait pas avoir une candidate ou un candidat avec un handicap. En 2022, il serait vraiment temps”,”text”:”Je n’écoute pas Occupation double, mais récemment j’ai découvert Si on s’aimait et je ne vois pas pourquoi on ne pourrait pas avoir une candidate ou un candidat avec un handicap. En 2022, il serait vraiment temps”}}”>I don’t listen Double workbut I just discovered it If we love each other and I don’t see why we can’t have a candidate with a disability. In 2022, it’s about timehe reasoned.

A diversity of candidates

For this program, 10 people with disabilities, of different sexual orientations, each have an appointment with three people with or without disabilities, chosen by the production company Pixcom.

The man was made on a film set.

Liana Adam is one of the 10 candidates of the reality show “And if it was you?” »

Photo: Patrick Maltais Verrette

It is important to have people without disabilities so they are just people looking for someone to share their life with. The ultimate goal is to stop putting up barriers and limitationsadded Isabella Federigi.

In order to decide which contestants to present, long interviews were conducted by the production team. We talk to specialized people, but we also rely on our team by asking basic questions. […] We have intuitions, but we can be wrong as in lifesaid producer Amélie Dionne-Martel.

Laurence Parent noted that many people with disabilities have relationships with people without disabilities. But most people without disabilities have never had a relationship with people with disabilities. They never thought about it before. I have the impression that it discourages people without disabilities. They think what we think of them.

This is why he appreciates the variety the show offers.

There are no villages for people with disabilities. It is very problematic when people with disabilities are presented by people with disabilities. It doesn’t work like that in life. »

An excerpt from Laurence Parent

Directed by Estelle Bouchard, What if it was you? filming this summer. The broadcast is scheduled for the end of February, after Valentine’s Day. Isabella Federigi is already considering a second season, although nothing has been confirmed.

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