Friday, March 17, 2017

French TV focused on ability, not disability

A young Frenchwoman has dreamed of being a weather forecaster on television. Twenty-one-year-old Melanie Segard has Down syndrome and cannot read or write, but never gave up on her dream. To encourage her, a charity called Unapei which assists people with disabilities created a Facebook campaign for her called "Melane peut le faire." (Melanie can do it.) It garnered over 225,000 "likes" in support of her mission.

Recently Melanie was invited to help give the weather forecast on national public television channel France 2. She trained for a week, learning how to present before a green screen. Then it was her day. After letting professional make-up artists prepare her for TV lights, she went on the set and "knocked it out of the park." Her presentation was perfect. She says her goal was to show everyone that a person with disabilities can perform services that able-bodied people can do -- even on national television.

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