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Aardman Animations Support Sampaign for Disabled

A new campaign to challenge and change attitudes towards disability is being launched by Leonard Cheshire Disability this week and is previewed online today.

The charity has teamed up with Aardman Animations to create a highly original campaign called Creature Discomforts. The awareness campaign is based on the much-loved Creature Comforts series but features the hallmark plasticine characters with disabilities, combined with the real voices and experiences of disabled people.

The Aardman Animations team has created new characters for Leonard Cheshire Disability’s campaign including a bull terrier in a wheelchair, a stick insect with a walking stick and a tortoise on crutches. The campaign highlights the disadvantage and discrimination that disabled people experience every day, largely as a result of the ignorance of the wider population.

The animations are based on the genuine voices of disabled people describing in their own words the negative attitudes and barriers they experience, which separate them from society. The Creature Discomforts characters also appear in adverts that will be seen online, in magazines, at bus stops and on the Tube from this Thursday.

One of the four animations addresses a common assumption that people in wheelchairs are not able to speak for themselves. The animation opens with Spud the Slug, who is in an electric wheelchair saying: “…that many people say – oh you’re in a wheelchair – you’re rubbish. You can’t do anything. A lot of it, it is ignorance.”

Peg the Hedgehog appears next, sitting in her wheelchair having a cup of tea. She says: “People have assumed that wheels mean… nothing up here in the brain, you know.” Flash the Sausage Dog appears last, saying: “Because we’re in a wheelchair doesn’t mean to say we’re not capable of thinking. Now let’s get things put right. Not just for disabled, for everybody. So we can all work in harmony together.”

Each of the four animations ends with the message “change the way you see disability.” Bryan Dutton, Director General, Leonard Cheshire Disability said: “We want people to change the way they see disability, to think and act differently and to make a positive difference to the lives of disabled people.

“Disabled people experience unnecessary social barriers which are created largely through ignorance. In the twenty-first century it is unacceptable that such negative attitudes to disability still persist. Everyone has a part to play in creating a world in which disabled people are included in every aspect of life.

“Creature Comforts is well known and much-loved for its ability to bring home messages in a simple, everyday way. Our Creature Discomforts campaign builds on this, making a serious point with humour.”

Steve Harding-Hill, the Director of Creature Discomforts at Aardman Animations said: “Leonard Cheshire Disability’s new campaign is an important step towards changing everyone’s attitudes to disability. Working on it has been an amazing experience for us all at Aardman.

“Taking the real voices and experiences of disabled people and creating animated stories that are informative, entertaining and poignant has been an immense but incredibly satisfying challenge.”

For a preview of the campaign visit www.CreatureDiscomforts.org. The characters will also appear in adverts at bus stops, in newspapers, magazines and online. In January, the animations will be aired on ITV.

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