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Dialogue on Disability: Journalist Emyle Watkins on the language surrounding disability

A white person with long brown hair, brown eyes, and purple eyeglasses presents to a group of people.
The Arc of Monroe
Emyle Watkins presents a training on disability reporting and language to journalists in Rochester, NY in October 2023

Recently on Connections, we talked with a local teenager who said, “A lot of people base me off my epilepsy, like…he’s that one epileptic kid. That’s what I’m known as at my school. I just want to be known as a person, not that one epileptic kid.”

Award-winning multimedia journalist Emyle Watkins has a passion for helping to break down the kinds of stigma and stereotypes experienced by that local teen. Watkins identifies as disabled and neurodivergent. She covers the disability community for WBFO in Buffalo and leads training sessions for communities across the country.

This hour, Watkins joins us for a conversation about language, so-called “inspiration porn,” and how to help all people become more inclusive communicators. It's part of WXXI's Dialogue on Disability Week.

Our guest:

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk and is part of Dialogue on Disability Week — a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies — in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series.

Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.