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The stand-ups smashing down disability stereotypes

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Disabled stand-ups such as Britain’s Got Talent winner Lee Ridley rewrite the comedy rulebook, when they take aim at how people see their disability.

That’s what audiences at the Scottish Festival of Politics will hear on Saturday from Brunel University London’s Dr Sharon Lockyer.

Dr Lockyer joins stand-up Laurence Clark and disability rights campaigner, Collin Young for Abnormally Funny, a panel debate on comedy and disability.

It comes as more comedians with disabilities than ever help people see the funny side of some of awkwardness non-disabled people have with disability.

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“It’s not a straightforward process,” said Dr Lockyer who heads the Centre for comedy Studies Research. “But stand-up comedy performed by comedians with disabilities is potentially a powerful tool to help challenge and renegotiate misconceptions around disability.

“It’s a timely topic to think about with comedians with disabilities becoming more popular in the mainstream, as shown by Lost Voice Guy, Lee Ridley.”

One in four people avoid conversations with disabled people because of feelings of discomfort and fear of saying the wrong thing, shows a study out last year by Scope. Dr Lockyer will share some of her research published in Disability and Society as the panel discuss whether or not comedy by people with disabilities disabled people helps to change attitudes.

Image: Steve Ullathorne

Reported by:

Hayley Jarvis, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268176
hayley.jarvis@brunel.ac.uk