More than three decades ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities in the United States. Significant barriers remain, however, that prevent the inclusion of all people in all aspects of American life. In 2019, six public media stations set out to change that.

Their ambitious initiative, called Move to Include, used the power of public media to promote inclusion. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and building on lead station WXXI’s long-running regional Move to Include partnership with the Golisano Foundation, the national initiative spotlighted people of differing abilities, as well as disability issues – including education, healthcare, housing, recreation, employment and local efforts to support inclusion – through television, radio, news, special events, and social media. The initiative worked to inspire and motivate people to embrace different abilities and include all people in all aspects of community life.

Among the objectives of the 18-month pilot project was the creation of this Inclusion Playbook — a guide for public media organizations large and small, outlining best practices and practical elements for launching similar initiatives anywhere in the country, using public media’s strengths to promote inclusion through genuine partnerships with local disability communities.

The recommendations outlined here are directly informed and illustrated by the experiences of the six pilot stations: Iowa PBS, Oregon Public Broadcasting, WCNY Syracuse, WFYI Indianapolis, WGCU Fort Myers (Fla.), and WXXI Rochester.

Five Pillars of Inclusion

The Playbook is organized into five “pillars,” representing key elements of a public media inclusion initiative. While they are distinct, there is overlap from one to another; and while they are presented sequentially, these pillars will naturally flow into each other as the initiative progresses.

The 5 Pillars are:

  • Internal Planning
  • Partnership
  • Promotion
  • Content
  • Education & Engagement


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Learn More at PBS Learning Media

PBS Learning Media brings the power of PBS and your local station together in a free curated resource for educators and families alike.  Open the door to the world with PBS Learning Media.  Visit our dedicated Move to Include curated playlist online.