Why are you blind? Do you ever use your disability as an excuse to skip to the front of the line? What’s wrong with your face? Can you have sex? Tourette’s is just tics and swearing, right?
These are but a few of the questions most of us are afraid to ask. Now, thanks to You Can’t Ask That, a new eight-part documentary series from Accessible Media Inc., many of these ordinarily off-limits questions are asked and truthfully answered.
The recently launched show, produced by Montreal’s Pixcom Productions, takes aim at prejudices and taboos with the goal of breaking down barriers in a real and authentic way. Organized into pithy half-hour episodes, You Can’t Ask That sees eight Canadians with a variety of physical and neurological conditions reading out curious questions from members of the public.
The participants were chosen from a variety of communities in Canada, representing larger urban centres such as Edmonton, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal, but also from the smaller towns of Red Deer, AB, Roberts Creek, BC, and Barrie and Timmins, ON. Each participant reads a chosen question then, looking directly into the camera—and into Canadian homes—offers a frank response based on their own experiences. The answers can be funny, serious or sad, but one thing is guaranteed—they come from the heart and are delivered honestly.
“Pixcom was looking for a really original human format and found this clever Q&A format on ABC in Australia,” says AMI’s Marie-Ève Gariépy, the show’s line producer. “It’s incredible. We’ve been really touched and impressed by the simple, yet powerfully enlightening message that the series carries and the emotion a 30-minute episode can deliver.”
In keeping with AMI’s mandate of making media accessible for all Canadians, the series utilizes Integrated Described Video (IDV) for those who are blind or partially sighted.
You Can’t Ask That will turn heads and, with a little luck, clear up a lot of misconceptions. As participant Bean Gill suggests: “I feel like one of my biggest goals now is to help get rid of the stigma of people with disabilities. This show is a great way to educate a lot of people at once.”
Season 1: In the first episode, viewers meet Canadians who share the challenges, frustrations and benefits related to being wheelchair users. Future shows will explore vision impairment, little people, facial differences, Down’s syndrome, Tourette syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. Watch Season 1 of You Can’t Ask That on AMI.ca or by using the AMI-tv App for iOS and tvOS.
Accessible Media Inc. is a not-for-profit media company that entertains, informs and empowers Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. Operating three broadcast services, AMI-tv and AMI-audio in English and AMI-télé in French, AMI’s vision is to establish and support a voice for all Canadians with disabilities. Visit AMI.ca and AMItele.ca for more information.v