US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) noticed that people with disabilities aren’t represented enough in certain types of stock photography. But they didn’t just sit and whine about it on social media. They did something to change it and made their own collection of stock photos showing people with disabilities using different home safety devices.
“A while ago, we noticed there weren’t many stock pictures of Americans with disabilities using common home safety devices like smoke/carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, or even flashlights,” CPSC tweeted a few days ago. “We did something about it.”
We did something about it: https://t.co/LGJUFsmF3F
— US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@USCPSC) May 19, 2023
CPSC points out that all the photos are in the public domain so anyone can download and use them. “There’s a lot more to do in improving representation in injury prevention, and we look forward to contributing more for years to come.”
By the way, CPSC has amused Twitter for years with its hilarious public safety awareness memes:
Teach others. pic.twitter.com/8b5cQG8fjg
— US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@USCPSC) May 21, 2023
And as they point out, they’ve already started using the new images for this purpose:
Always have a working fire extinguisher in your home. pic.twitter.com/fLthdH6Fzb
— US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@USCPSC) March 7, 2023
Speaking with NPR, CPSC Social Media Specialist Joseph Galbo said:
“A lot of us agreed this would be one of the most important things we worked on in our careers. There was a real sense of helping right a wrong and delivering something important for a community that’s too often left out of many important conversations.”
The American Association of People with Disabilities’ President and CEO Maria Town commented that this move “brings us closer to embracing that disabled people are everywhere.” She added that this should be “standard practice, rather than a lauded exception,” and I couldn’t agree more.
“Disability is a natural part of the human condition, and yet all too often it is viewed as special or distinct from mainstream society,” Town wrote. “Representation — from stock photos, to policies and programs — helps create the comprehensively accessible society we aspire toward, rather than leaving our communities behind.”
While it may seem like a small step – it is a step someone actually took toward addressing and solving a certain issue. If each of us did little and took at least small steps to improve our society – imagine how far we’d come.
The CPSC’s gallery is free to browse and download photos, and you can explore it here.