ITV have commissioned a one-off documentary with Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds exploring the relationship between disability and adoption.
Award winning Flicker Productions, the makers of acclaimed ITV documentaries Kate Garraway: Finding Derek and Caring for Derek, will produce the 1x60 documentary in which Ellie will ask why up to an estimated 40 per cent of children in the England and Wales care system have a registered disability.
This is far higher than the eight per cent average for the rest of the population and will serve as Ellie’s starting point for further investigation.
Attempting to unpick the truth behind these figures, Ellie will spend time with families who have adopted disabled children, meet those who felt they could not raise a disabled child, hear deeply personal stories and highlight the pioneering work of social services teams around the UK.
Ellie wants to explore past and present day barriers on both sides of the adoptive process – both social and institutional – and ask if we are perpetuating an unfounded stigma around having disabled children.
From probing the existence of in-built systemic bias from the moment of birth, to a lack of awareness, Ellie’s mission is to investigate and unravel this complex issue.
Ellie Simmonds said: “I’m really looking forward to working with ITV on this film about the relationship between adoption and disability, which is so close to my heart and which needs much greater awareness.”
Colleen Flynn, Executive Producer said: “We are very excited to partner up with Ellie and ITV on such an important documentary, one that asks questions about attitudes towards disability and is underpinned by our trademark values of empathy, compassion and inclusivity.”
The film is commissioned for ITV by Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of ITV Factual, who said: “This is a landmark film about a very important subject and I know Ellie plus the team at Flicker will bring to it an authentic and uniquely personal perspective.”
The Director for Flicker Productions is Jasleen Kaur Sethi.