chapter  9
18 Pages

Mainstreaming disability on Radio 4

ByBrian Sweeney, Sheila Riddell

In 1997, the controller of Radio 4, James Boyle, announced a decision to reorganise the coverage of disability issues of Radio 4 as part of a wider rescheduling initiative which took place the following year. The programme Does He Take Sugar? (DHTS?), which had covered disability issues since the 1970s, was axed. The team which had produced DHTS? was redeployed to You and Yours (Y&Y), a consumer affairs programme. Before rescheduling, Y&Y had a 35-minute slot; this was increased to fifty minutes (12.05-12.55 p.m. daily). Peter White, a blind broadcaster, was appointed to the post of disability correspondent, with a remit to ensure that disability featured in programmes right across the network. Whilst mainstreaming disability was the order of the day, In Touch, a programme dealing with issues relevant to blind and visually impaired people, was retained.