(Boston, MA, December 10, 2012)

The Inclusive Sport Initiative at the Institute of Human Centered Design is pleased to announce a new social media campaign, #HOWCOOLISTHAT
This campaign will use social media to address mainstream media coverage of disability sports in the United States and worldwide.
The most watched Paralympic Games in the History, London 2012, was broadcast to 3.8 billion people in over 115 countries. The USA, one of the biggest sporting nations in the world and sixth most successful country in the London 2012 Paralympics, didn’t have any live broadcast of any of London 2012 events. This made us think about the leadership position of the United States and all countries in ensuring the visibility of athletes with disabilities.
Mainstream media has shown its power in helping create role models, change perceptions of people with disabilities and inspiring other to take part in sports.
The goal of our campaign is to capture videos and pictures of people’s reactions, feelings and thoughts as they watch disability sport videos.
Our aim is to increase awareness about disability sports as part of mainstream sports coverage. By showing and sharing highlights of disability sports, we would like to encourage everyone to share their feelings, thoughts and reactions on social media using #HOWCOOLISTHAT
We are hoping that it will open the dialogue and debate around the coverage of international championships, national competitions and other disability sports event by mainstream media.
Today is the United Nations international Human Right Day. This year’s focus is “Inclusion and the rights to participate in public life.”
We chose this date as a symbolic day to launch our campaign.
Through this campaign, we are hoping to help and support all stakeholders working towards the development of a fully inclusive society where everyone has equal right of participation in play, work and any other societal activities.
Full visibility and access to participation in sport for people with disabilities shouldn’t be a dream: #HOWCOOLISTHAT will make it happen.
Aurélie Pankowiak -
Inclusive Sports Initiative
Phone: 617-803-8148
Twitter: @disinsport