Because not all disabilities are visible disabilities.
If his life-size Sidney Crosby poster is any indication, 19-year-old Jacob loves sports. But since experiencing a pediatric stroke in 2018, which led to a brain injury, Jacob has had to work hard through physical and occupational therapy sessions to be able to return to the sports he loves to play.
“If someone has a physical disability and can’t play hockey, they could play sledge hockey. They shouldn’t be discriminated against because of that.” Jacob says.
Even prior to his stroke, Jacob noticed that adapted sports aren’t usually broadcasted on many major networks, which, he adds, makes it more difficult for people to get involved or for these sports to be truly appreciated by people world-wide.
“If we normalize having a disability and doing these things then it’s not as surprising to see [on TV],” he says.
Apart from sports, Jacob also enjoys watching comedy and superhero shows on TV.
“I think that there should be more people who have [a disability] that go on TV— even if it’s not a visible disability,” he says.
Jacob’s disability isn’t necessarily visible, making it even more difficult to see himself reflected in the media. But he believes authentic representation can change the way that people think about both visible and invisible disabilities.
“It’s important to get awareness out there,” Jacob adds. “The more you see something in the media, the more you recognize it.”