I’ve spent the last year building my small business, Right Brain Creative Content, from the ground up. At the same time, I’ve built this blog as a creative outlet and a space to connect with fellow chronic illness warriors living their best lives. There hasn’t been a ton of crossover between these two pursuits, until now.
Along with content creation and the consulting services I provide through Right Brain, I’m now offering sensitivity reading and cultural consultation. If you’re not familiar with the concept of sensitivity readers, the idea is fairly simple. Sensitivity readers review books, films and other forms of media to ensure that specific cultures or groups are portrayed accurately. They usually have personal experience that gives them a unique perspective – a valuable resource for publishers, authors and marketers who want to create authentic work that doesn’t harm the culture or cultures it portrays. As someone with both a chronic illness and an editorial background, this type of service is a perfect fit for me.
Times are changing, albeit slowly. In a survey of 3,500 children’s books by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a child with a disability appeared in only 21 books, and only two of those were main characters. But authors – specifically writers of children’s and young adult literature – are beginning to understand the importance of portraying a more diverse and therefore realistic cast of characters in their stories.
Creators of books, toys and movies are all beginning to realize the importance of representing more true-to-life characters. And marketers are beginning to understand the impact their messages have on people of diverse backgrounds.
My goal in offering this service is to encourage more writers, artists and marketing professionals to consider the impact their work has on people with chronic illness and/or disability and to promote awareness through thoughtful and authentic content. If you’re involved in a project that represents people in the chronic illness and/or disability community, contact me for more information about sensitivity reading and cultural consultation.