In Front of and Behind the Cameras

[With] tv to offer 24-hour programming ‘of,  by and for people with disabilities’ Wouldn’t it be great if our disability […]

[With] tv to offer 24-hour programming ‘of,  by and for people with disabilities’

Wouldn’t it be great if our disability community had a 24 hour TV channel by and for people with disabilities? Good news. In the near future, we will. It will be called [with]tv.

Howard Renensland conceived the idea for [with]tv in response to his daughter Victoria’s experiences. Victoria was born with developmental disabilities, and Renensland has always advocated for her inclusion in the world. As a young adult, Victoria has run into many obstacles to employment. She tried a bookstore position, but she didn’t feel challenged. Also, the managers would only assign her to work eight hours each week and paid her $8 per hour.

Renensland wanted his daughter to have rewarding, challenging work in a supportive, inclusive environment. He decided to start a company where Victoria and other folks with disabilities could experience an empowering workplace. He wanted to start a TV channel because of the media’s power to affect public perceptions. Renensland plans to show programming that portrays those with disabilities in a positive light.

Renensland, who incorporated [with]tv in 2006, says the company is “devoted to providing television and internet programming of, by, and for people with disabilities.” Although not yet on the air, the company has taped some pilot shows. Their programming will include sports, news, drama, comedy, reality, movies, concerts, variety and shopping. One news show will be called “A Different Perspective.”

All the programs and even commercials will be accessible for those with hearing or vision difficulties. The channel will have captioning, narration, and be screen-reader accessible. Renensland plans to start broadcasting on the Internet, and then expand to television. Eventually [with]tv will have programs running 24 hours each day.

As a part of the new broadcast endeavor, Renensland founded the nonprofit company People with Disabilities Broadcasting Corporation. PBDC will train those with disabilities to work at [with]tv in entertainment careers, as writers, as well as make-up, hair, camera and script consultants.

PBDC and [with]tv aren’t set up to train or hire yet, but they are accepting resumes. Also, volunteers are welcome and appreciated.

Victoria Renensland is excited about the [with]tv station. “I dream about having my own TV show and calling it Victoria’s TV Show.”

If you want to check out the soon-to-be TV channel plans, go to www.with-tv.com They request that you sign their guest book.