In the United Kingdom, there are 14.6 million people registered as disabled, of which 4.7 million disabled people are in work, according to a Scope UK (2020-2021) national report. Seventeen thousand five hundred employed and self-employed photographers, audio-visual & broadcasting equipment operators also register as disabled.
A disability is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).
People with disabilities, injuries, or older adults with an increased risk of falling choose to use mobility aids. These devices provide several benefits to users, including more independence, reduced pain, and increased confidence and self-esteem.
A range of mobility devices is available to meet people’s needs – from canes and crutches to wheelchairs and stair lifts.
The type of mobility aid required will depend on the mobility issue or injury. The most common types of mobility aids include:
- White canes, quad canes and forearm canes
- Underarm crutches, forearm crutches and platform crutches
- Mobility scooters
- Guide dogs and assistance dogs
In December of 2021, I was diagnosed with a neurological condition known as Fibromyalgia triggered by the traumatic stress of detoxification from alcohol.
The symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome range from joint pain, arthritic pain, muscle cramps in my hands and legs, leg and back weakness, chronic itching, brain fog, temporary memory loss, neck and head pain, and temporary on-off paralysis in my upper arms and shoulders.
After diagnosis, I found life as a photographer quite tricky; for example, carrying heavy loads on my back is now a thing of the past. Bending, kneeling, or laying is often crippling too. In addition, simple things such as holding a camera and keeping my finger on the camera shutter button often results in painful hand cramps.
I do not consider myself a professional nine-to-five photographer but a photographic artist. I use photography as a relaxation and meditation tool; in addition, photography helps me to express myself. So, being unable to do the one thing I love was depressing.
After months of contemplating what to do, I researched more about disability aids for working and hobbyist photographers. However, the majority of aids I found for disabled people catered more for the home and interior work environment, driving and aids to assist in cooking, mobility and coping.
Fortunately, after reaching out to several agencies, I came across numerous gadgets and specialist equipment but nothing explicitly that catered for photographers with disabilities. In addition, I could not find a single camera or lens on the market that can assist people with learning, dexterity and vision impairments.
However, I have found a great deal of specialist equipment on the web for most photographers with minor to severe disabilities, which I’ve documented below. Furthermore, I have also reached out to agencies for assistance regarding photo processing and specialist cameras, which I will include in a follow-up article.
Novoflex PISTOCK-C Chestpod
Novoflex’s Chestpod is a great way to lend support when shooting with long lenses in scenarios where monopods and tripods would be impractical or prohibited. It begins as a comfortable neck strap, articulating to a broad rubberised base that rests on your chest, usually just below your sternum.
The Chestpod can capture sharp shots of scenes (such as popular tourist destinations) whose controllers have implemented anti-tripod rules to sell their pictures. The Chestpod can be used on its own or in conjunction with a quick-release adapter to speed up the attachment and detachment of the Chestpod and whatever you’re attaching to it.
The only disadvantage I found with the Novoflex PISTOCK-C is that it may not be suitable for every photographer because of where the broad rubberised base rests; in addition, old DSLR cameras with heavy lenses may cause pressure spots to form on the chest or sternum region. The neck strap is not padded, which could aggravate neck, shoulder, pinched nerve and migraine pain.
Price: £129 – $156
Kinesis H717-K X-Harness
The H717-K X-Harness from Kinesis is designed to hold a heavy DSLR and an attached lens against the chest. A pair of high-density polyethene staves at the front of the harness and an “x-style” crisscross rear design transfers loads away from the neck and shoulder for increased comfort.
Though designed to function independently, the H717-K X-Harness can be used to provide additional stability to a padded Kinesis belt. This can be accomplished by attaching such a belt to the harness with a separately-sold Kinesis H167 4-Point Suspender Adapter, or should a camera also be worn on the harness’s front, an H163 3-Point Suspender Adapter.
A Kinesis H675 PJ Camera Strap can be used in tandem with this harness to switch a camera between two carrying methods. Op/Tech, UPstrap, or Tamrac neck strap systems with sewn-in quick-release buckles can be used with the H717-K X-Harness by adding Kinesis H439 Harness to Op/Tech Straps, H441 Harness to UPstrap Camera Straps, or H442 Harness to Tamrac Straps respectively. Alternatively, H437 Harness to Snap Hook Straps allows a holster or pouch with D-Rings to be carried on the chest. These items are also sold separately.
I’ve used the Kinesis X-Harness to reduce the loads on my neck and shoulders and found it quite comfortable. Unlike other harnesses that lack padding around the neck and shoulder area. The Kinesis X-Harness does have ample padding and reduces pain and paralysis in the upper shoulders in people with neurological conditions such as Fibromyalgia. In addition, it’s a blessing for those who suffer migraines or find it difficult to carry heavy camera loads.
The only disadvantage I could find with the H717-K X-Harness is that it may not be suitable for photographers fitted with a chemo portacath (chemo port). In addition, the X-Harness may not be ideal for smaller people or budding young photographers due to its size.
£74.00 – $89.00
PGYTECH Photography Gloves
The PGYTECH Photography Gloves feature 3M Thinsulate lining and are designed to keep you warm and dry while shooting outdoors in winter. They are perfect for operating cameras, tablets, phones and devices in cold and winter conditions.
Inspired by photographers and drone operators who need to stay warm and agile while operating small buttons, dials, and touchscreens, these gloves feature conductive fingertips that can be folded back and snapped into place, allowing you to use touch-screens with or without your fingertips covered by the glove. An anti-slip material helps ensure that you’ll keep a secure grip on fragile, expensive gear, and the hook-and-loop wrist strap creates a comfortable and confident fitment at the easily adjustable wrist.
PGYTECH Photography gloves are designed for outdoor sports, cold temperature shooting or drone flying in rough conditions. This specific brand comes in a medium size. However, PGYTECH does small and large sizes too. Shooting in cold or damp weather can be pretty painful for photographers with disabilities such as Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Neuropathy, hence why these gloves are a must-have for all of us that suffer from such debilitating conditions.
The only disadvantage I found with the PGYTECH brand was that I found it difficult to undo the twist levers on camera tripods, especially on wet days when my hands cramped up. However, switching to a lever tripod does eliminate this problem. Overall, my hands remained warm on cold days, and I could efficiently operate my camera, phone and drone controls without being in constant pain.
£32.17 – $39.90
ALZO Wheelchair Camera Mount
The AZLO heavy-duty wheelchair camera mount is suitable for most hobbyist and professional camera projects. The metal adjustable camera attachment device can be mounted onto a wheelchair or any post up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. It can support loads up to 3.6kg. However, it may require a custom length ALZO extension rod too.
The ALZO clamp setup includes a Super Clamp, an ALZO Flex Arm, and an ALZO Camera Flipper. In the example below, the super clamp is attached to the armrest post, with the armrest pad removed. The ALZO Flex Arm provides ample angle adjustment while assuring stable and firm camera support. The ALZO camera flipper provides rapid camera 90-degree re-positioning from landscape to portrait.
I’m not a wheelchair user, so I cannot add many opinions regarding this device. However, I know several professional disabled photographers who use the ALZO camera mount for professional and hobbyist camerawork, all of whom love the device.
Source: ALZO Digital
£148 – $179
The Bite Switch is an ingenious design that allows the photographer to operate the shutter release by biting down on the Bite Switch. The Bite Switch is comprised of a durable, sealed tubular switch assembly measuring 1.5 inches long by 1/4 inch diameter, a 36-inch coaxial wire, and a 2.5mm plug with a 90-degree elbow bend. During use, the switch is placed in the mouth with the wire pointing either to the right or left.
Biting anywhere on the red section actuates the switch and triggers the camera. There are two tactile ribs so the user can instantly feel the bite zone with their teeth and lips. The required bite force is about what it would take to bite through a small carrot or how hard the average person can comfortably bite on their finger without pain.
The supplied plug fits most Canon film cameras; however other camera models may require a custom connection, which you can find detailed instructions for on the Connection page.
£39.00 – $47.28
The Tongue Switch
The Tongue Switch is comprised of a 1/2 inch pressure-sensitive switch mechanism, a 1-inch flattened and bite-resistant stem, a 36-inch coaxial wire, and a 2.5mm plug with a 90-degree elbow bend. It is configured so that the pressure-sensitive switch face is always oriented towards the user’s tongue, regardless of the direction of insertion into the mouth, thus allowing the wire to be routed to the left or right.
The tongue movement required is most similar to pressing bubble gum against the back surface of the front teeth before blowing a bubble. The user will feel a “click” each time the switch is depressed, indicating that a photo has been taken. The entire switch assembly is waterproof. Since it is situated entirely within the mouth, no jaw or teeth movement is required to retain or actuate the switch while taking photographs. This allows the Tongue Switch to be used with tight-fitting rear-entry helmets and ratcheting chin-cups. This feature makes it the favourite of professional freefall photographers who insist on a perfectly stable camera platform.
The bite and tongue switch are ingenious designs that can be used by any photographer, with or without severe impairment of the body. Both devices are also excellent tools of the trade for photographers with neurological and arthritic impairments, which I highly recommend.
£39.00 – $47.28
Calumet LCD Viewfinder Loupe
The Calumet foldable LCD DSLR viewfinder loupe is designed for professional and hobbyist photographers. Іt рrоvіdеѕ аn ехtrеmеlу сlеаr mаgnіfіеd vіеw оf уоur DЅLR’ѕ LСD ѕсrееn, еѕресіаllу whеn ѕhооtіng vіdео іn dауlіght соndіtіоnѕ.
Іt fеаturеѕ а 3х mаgnіfісаtіоn vіеw аnd а dіорtеr tо аdјuѕt thе lеnѕ fосuѕ аѕ wеll аѕ аn еrgоnоmіс ѕіlісоn rubbеr еуесuр. Ѕіmрlу flір uр thе еуеріесе tо ѕwіtсh tо thе tурісаl vіеw оf уоur саmеrа’ѕ LСD ѕсrееn.
Тhе vіеwfіndеr lоuре соmеѕ wіth а quісk rеlеаѕе mоuntіng рlаtе. То іnѕtаll thіѕ, аttасh thе mоuntіng рlаtе tо thе саmеrа’ѕ mоuntіng рlаtе. Тhе lоuре сlірѕ еаѕіlу оn аnd оff thе рlаtе. The Calumet can fit most DSLRs with a screen size of 3 or 3.2 inches, including the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the Nikon D810.
I’ve not used this particular model because it doesn’t fit my camera LCD screens. However, I have used the Hoodman H32MB HoodLoupe that can fit most full-frame and DSLR cameras.
First, if you’re considering investing in one, don’t buy cheap and nasty loupes; I would also avoid second-hand loupes. WEX and B&H have some excellent loupes, but please check the specifications before buying.
LCD viewfinder loupes come in several magnifications ranging from 3x to 10x, and they’re a God send for photographers that struggle to view images on the LCD screen. I cannot fault them. I suffer from a few eye problems due to my disability, and before using the loupes, I often struggled to view my photos.
£99.00 – $120
Kirk WM-2 Window Mount
The Kirk WM-2 Multi-Purpose Window Mount is a versatile, heavy-duty, multi-purpose window mount that offers convenience and versatility to all photographers shooting inside and around a vehicle. The tripod ball-head is not included with this item and must be purchased separately.
I think the Kirk WM-2 Window Mount is an ingenious idea for the landscape, street, architecture and wildlife photographer. In addition, it caters well for disabled photographers who cannot leave their vehicle’s confines for safety or medical reasons or find it difficult to walk long distances.
The window mount is, in a sense, a tripod that allows for most types of ball-heads to be attached and is made of solid black anodised 6061T6 aluminium, with rubber-covered feet and easy-to-grip controls.
The mount features a main body that folds double, which, in addition to its regular use as a window mount, gives it the added flexibility that allows it to be used as a sturdy “low pod” for resting on a table, car roof, or flat rock.
The only disadvantage I found with the product was its price at just over £200.
£205 – $249
Eckla Eagle Camera Lens Support
The Eckla Eagle Car Door Lens Support is a powder-coated aluminium platform for a pro DSLR with a 400–600 mm lens and is ideal for long lens photography out of cars and vehicles. The support fits nearly all car makes and comes with a bubble level for perfect positioning.
It can be adjusted to fit most car doors or glass windows. You can even mount it outside your car door for added flexibility. The support comes with a 3/8” mount screw that easily attaches to ball heads and gimbal heads. Its aluminium-stainless steel construction is light and rustproof for increased durability.
As with the Kirk Window Mount, the Eckla Lens Support is a clever idea that caters for most disabled and non-disabled photographers. The lens support aids disabled photographers who struggle with walking and moving or photographers who cannot leave their car’s confines for safety or medical reasons.
The only disadvantage I found with this product is the price at just over £200.
Source: Speed Graphic
£179 – $216
Wireless tethering of a camera device to a PC, laptop, mobile phone or tablet has come a long way in recent years. Tethering can aid some photographers with disabilities such as Monoplegia, Hemiplegia, Paraplegia and Quadriplegia paralysis, as well as people with limited movement disabilities ranging from Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Functional Movement Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome and Multiple Sclerosis.
Tethering can also help photographers with pain conditions such as hand cramps, Arteritis and Dupuytren’s Disease; however, some additional aids may be required for photographers to touch and navigate the screen, i.e. mouth sticks.
The cheapest and most efficient way to shoot tethered is to use a wired connection. However, I do not advise this method because the wire may lead to accidents. Additionally, it can easily detach from your camera or viewing device resulting in images/film being lost. Therefore, wireless tethering is best.
When you tether wirelessly, you plug a device such as CamRanger into your camera and use it to create a wireless network. Any device such as a laptop or tablet can join that wireless network, and your images are transmitted wirelessly every time you press the shutter button. You can even remotely control the camera from your tethered computer or tablet.
Whenever you shoot tethered with CamRanger, the device stores image previews in a cache on your device. The actual files are still written to your camera’s CF or SD memory card like usual. While the wireless transfer of images can definitely be slow, this process can be sped up if you change your camera preferences to shoot in JPG only, or RAW + JPG. Transferring JPG images goes much faster than RAW images.
Another massive benefit of CamRanger is the option to switch the app into Client Mode. This allows you to hand your tethered device over to your client to preview images created in real-time without allowing them to control your camera so you can keep shooting remotely. It’s a clever feature that adds value.
The only disadvantage of CamRanger is the distance is limited to 100-150 feet. If your camera and connected device drift outside this range, you risk losing connectivity. Second, CamRanger does have a decent battery life of 5-6 hours by itself, but using it in conjunction with Live View on your camera can drain your camera batteries quickly. There are alternatives such as CamFi, Tether Tools Case Air, and Sony Imaging Edge, to name but a few.
As mentioned, there are a few restrictions with wireless tethering, and not all cameras and electronic devices are compatible with one another. Take my Sony A7ii, for instance; I was able to shoot using my mobile Android device. However, my laptop was not compatible with the software. With that said, most modern cameras have touch screen functions that can be used on most mobile devices.
Starts from £269 – $359
A mouth stick is an assistive device designed for people with uncontrolled hand movement or tremors due to cerebral palsy and those unable to move their hands because of quadriplegia. They can perform activities like typing, pressing buttons, turning pages and even drawing. For that, a special stick is operated with the mouth to do several tasks larger than many imagine.
At one end of the stick, there is usually a plastic or rubber feature that is the portion of the device inserted into the mouth. It makes it easier to hold the stick with the mouth, avoid harm and improve grip and control. At the other end, there is usually a rubber tip of different configurations and materials depending on the particular use intended for each stick.
Mouth sticks are excellent aids for Quadriplegic photographers; however, they have a few disadvantages; for example, it requires a lot of precision for some tasks; their use requires the correct distance between mouth and objects to be manipulated, and it requires training too.
With that said, and should you opt for a wireless tethered setup to use your camera, you’re good to go once you’ve gotten the hang of things. In addition, you can buy clamps to secure your camera and tablet to a wheelchair, for example, for a more comfortable and precision tethered setup.
Contact the trader here: email@example.com
Before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I could carry loads of 80-150lbs on my back; unfortunately, carrying such heavy loads is a thing of the past. The main problem I experienced was pressure pain, soreness, fatigue, itching and temporary on-off paralysis in my upper shoulders. The main problem was the backpack’s design, so I invested in a new backpack capable of carrying what I needed and is well padded around the neck, shoulders and back.
The award-winning PRVKE camera backpack is suitable for most photographers with neck and back pain, Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Fibromyalgia, etc. The back panel and shoulder straps are padding to create a more comfortable, breathable, and versatile carrying experience for all body shapes and sizes.
The PRVKE backpack is best for daily use. It comes with quick side camera access, weather-resistant zippers, an expandable roll-top, checkpoint-friendly 16-in laptop sleeve, expandable water bottle and tripod pocket, a secure passport pocket, and removable camera protection. In addition, carrying heavy photography equipment is not a problem with this bag, especially for those with back problems.
The only disadvantage I found with this bag is the price, which starts at £265. With that said, it’s built to last and made for people with back and shoulder pain.
£268 – $325
Minimalist Belt Bag
Belt bags, or (fanny packs) as some people refer, are an alternative to carrying a rucksack on your back. Most people can wear the minimalist belt bag; however, I advise buyers to check all sizes before purchasing.
I wear a similar bag made by Viper that clips to my belt that can hold a full-frame camera, lens and sensor cleaning kit, two medium lenses and three filters. However, I found the bag I was using didn’t provide much support for the camera, as in, it bounced about a lot when walking.
Fortunately, I came across the hip and leg belt bag with an extra strap for the leg to minimise bouncing and potential camera damage, and I can fit more into the bag too.
The minimalist hip and leg belt bag is lightweight, easy to use, and useful for photographers that suffer from neck, shoulder and back complaints. In addition, the leg strap adds more security too, thus reducing opportunistic thefts.
The user can easily fit a DSLR camera into the larger holster with a lens attached, while the smaller pockets can fit vital medications, a cell phone, a small torch, and water bottle etc. The bag length is 21cms, the width 9cms, the height 28cms, and the strap length is 21cms.
It should be noted that the bag is not water or weather-resistant; however, it can be sprayed with Fabsil, which adds a coating to repel water, thus keeping your valuables dry.
£11.25 – $13.63
1x Bottle of Fabsil is £6.85 – $8.30
The Blackrapid R-Strap Double Breathe – Double belt system is a double strap consisting of two interconnected belts. It works as a backpack-like carrying system for two DSLRs with long zoom lenses. An optimal weight distribution prevents the cameras from becoming a load.
The Blackrapid R-Strap evenly distributes the load of two cameras over your shoulders, thus reducing neck, shoulder and back pain. Several professional and hobbyist photographers opted for this system rather than the centre neck strap to mitigate and eliminate pain and have found it quite helpful and comfortable.
Comes with wide-angle shoulder pads, a camera adapter and a belt carabiner for easy removal of the cameras. In addition, it’s fitted with one-handed cam lock stoppers for fixing the cameras, shatterproof Duraflex plug-in fasteners for opening the belts and Lockstar cuffs that prevent accidental opening of the carabiners.
The only disadvantage I found with this unique system is that some wheelchair users have reported that the camera bodies hang on either side of their wheelchair or mobility chair seat, which has damaged the camera bodies when moving. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find a solution to prevent accidental damage. However, some photographers have improvised with silicone casings and rigs, but these improvisations only protect the bodies, not the lenses.
£116 – $141
Manfrotto Magic Arm
Functional and practical, the Magic Arm Kit is essential to any photographer’s or content creator’s kit. Made to the highest quality Italian standards, the tough and rigid wearing aluminium material makes this all-in-one solution a highly dependable accessory.
The Manfrotto Magic Arm comes with a base, super clamp and bracket and can fit easily to most wheelchairs or mobility scooters. The kit includes all essential accessories for setup, comes complete with an ergonomic handle for precision-controlled movement, and extends to 53cm, giving you maximum flexibility.
Weighing a mere 1.7kg, the Magic Arm can securely hold weights up to 3kg. The only disadvantage with the Magic Arm is that the elbow joint tends to come loose over time.
The Manfrotto Magic Arm allows the user to take overhead shots, most macro shots, landscape, street, candid, architecture, portraiture, wildlife and product images.
Overall, the Manfrotto Magic Arm is an excellent tool for all photographers; however, as mentioned, it has a weight limit of 3kg. Fortunately, there are more robust products on the market, such as the Mount’n Mover Arm that can bear loads of 6.8kgs, but they come at a price starting from £656.
£144 – $174
The new Wolffepack Capture camera backpack does something that we wish every photography backpack could do: it lets you swing it around the front of you without actually taking it off, making it much easier to get your gear.
In all other ways, the Wolffepack Capture is a standard good-quality camera backpack. It comes with a padded “pod” insert that can fit one camera and three lenses, fits a 15-inch laptop, is made from water-resistant polyester, and takes a waterproof nylon rain cover, among other features.
The Wolffepack Capture camera backpack is suitable for most photographers, especially those with back, neck and shoulder problems that struggle to put their bag on and take it off, but how does it work?
Release the cord on the right shoulder strap, and you can swing the backpack around the front without taking the shoulder straps off. Pull the cable back through and attach it; your backpack is back where it belongs. And since the chord is made from materials that Wolffepack says are “15x stronger than steel”, you don’t have to worry about anything snapping under the weight of your gear.
Source: Wolffepack & Innovative Edge Design
£221 – $269
The Handi Pac
The Handi Pac is the only front-facing wheelchair bag on the market, providing users with safe and secure access to all their belongings.
The Handi Pac uses magnetic technology for securing the bag quickly to the user, and opening and closing the bag is just as simple. No more buckles and clasps that are challenging to open.
The Handi Pac, compared to traditional backpacks or wheelchair bags, uses O-rings on all opening and closing mechanisms (zippers, pockets, straps) and uses oversized zippers for easy access. No more fumbling with zippers and buckles to open and close your existing bag.
The Handi Pac is secured to you, in your view, preventing would-be thieves from snatching your bags from you. No more worrying about theft and security of you and your belongings.
The Handi Pac is suitable for most wheelchair users that struggle with bags fixed to the back of their wheelchair. In addition, it can carry a lot of weight—the Handi Pac is suitable for travelling and professional working photographers needing more than just their camera gear and is priced at £147.
Source: Advanced Freedom
£148 – $180
Cotton Carrier Steady Shot
The black Steady Shot with Camera Vest from Cotton Carrier is a unique chest harness system that supports your camera eliminating the neck strain usually associated with shooting long jobs such as weddings, sports, public relations and photojournalism.
The system is designed for the photographer who carries a DSLR with a battery grip. The system comes complete with a camera tether that securely supports your camera and two hubs – one that tilts 15° and the other that hangs straight. Use the one that suits your shooting style.
The hub fits neatly into the 1/4 -20 tripod slot on your camera and then slips into the Lexan receptacle in the front of your vest. For additional stability, the built-in lens Stabilization Strap adds another measure of balance and support by holding the lens firmly against your body, preventing “swing”.
Unlike the Novoflex Chestpod, the Cotton Carrier caters well for most photographers, including those with minor aches, sprains, and disabilities such as Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, head, neck, and back injuries, which the Cotton Carrier aids the photographer in supporting heavy loads. In addition, the Cotton Carrier is highly recommended for people with Functional Movement Syndrome, Parkinson’s, and tremors.
The downside to the Cotton Carrier is the price which starts at £261.
£263 – $319
Sticky Rubber Pads
Sticky rubber pads are practical for people that suffer from hand cramps or weakness in the hands, arms, elbows and shoulders. In addition, they also aid photographers in attaching and undoing lenses, circular filters, filter attachments and twisty knobs and levers on tripods. Sticky rubber pads are also great for undoing and attaching tripods in cold and wet conditions.
£30.05 – $36.42
An unfortunate stigma comes with being not up to societal physical or mental standards. These individuals considered “sub-par,” based on this set expectation of what is expected, are constantly ridiculed and deemed outcasts. The idea of having a physical or mental sub-par aspect to oneself is typically referred to as having a disability.
There is a multitude of terrible preconceptions that some non-disabled people have about the disabled.
Firstly, they see a disability as something that is self-defining. It is often thought that a disability limits a person’s potential and thus makes the person not worth being friends with because they look weird, act strange, or seem unreliable. Often, individuals with disabilities fear their employer finding out they have a disability. This is a legitimate fear based on the knowledge of this preconception.
Secondly, they see a disability as something to pity. Because they think a disability is self-defining, they feel bad for that person. They would hate to be that person.
Lastly, and worst of all, they see a disability as something not worth living with. With media promoting that disabilities are not worth living with, the disabled are incredibly hurt. The inaccurate and romanticized representations of disabled individuals by Hollywood are something that needs to be realised.
The term “disability” has so many negative connotations that it’s time we begin setting the record straight: The disabled are not defined by their disabilities. They are at a disadvantage when it comes to certain tasks and even sometimes find a way to compensate. Those with disabilities live their lives on their terms, often quite successfully.
The term “disabled” itself does not accurately describe most disabled people. To many of the disabled, having less than ideal physical or mental characteristics does not prevent them from following their dreams, nor does it stop them from achieving success. Some of the world’s most successful individuals have disabilities, including photographers.
Photographers with disabilities must have easy access to adaptions, technology and devices that suit their individual needs. If manufacturers of cars and homes can implement the necessary instruments for disabled people to move and live their lives freely, how come the photography industry is still lacking in this area of technology?
Most cameras on the market are too small for disabled photographers, while others lack or have no disabled options for hobbyists and professional photographers to work. In addition, there is a lack of specialised photography tools and organisations for disabled photographers.
The photography industry does not cater very well for disabled photographers. While many adaptations and tools are on the market, many are useless, overpriced, or poorly designed, which must be addressed by the photography industry immediately.