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Athletes and the Paralympic movement has an established
history of challenging the portrayal of disability in mainstream media, such as
the #NotAWitch
campaign
for instance, and Perry highlights the need for greater positive
representation.

“The problem is we’re portrayed by the media to be more
comical characters, for example like the movie ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, millions
have watched people like myself being thrown at dart boards – it’s worse than
derogatory.

“So the media has an important role in showcasing diversity
and it would be great to see more disability representation in household
broadcasting such as the news and children’s programming. Even as Paralympians, though, we are looked very fondly upon when we’re doing things at the pool, on the
track etc – but from discussions I’ve had with numerous fellow athletes, these
incidents are all too common sadly when we get back into normal life.”

Opening up about his experiences is just the start for
Perry’s desire to educate and drive change for a more accepting society.

“I’ve had people come up to me saying ‘I experienced this
because of my condition or disability’, I’ve heard more and more stories and
you know, more and more people getting outraged – mine is a huge issue, but
it’s not the only one,” said Will.

“By the power of social media, we’ve become more accessible
as athletes to the public, and I’m trying to make the effort to respond to
every single person that messaged me so that if using my platform in that way
can inspire others then it also continues to elevate awareness of the
discussion like a chain reaction.”



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