• 'Maddy the Model', 'Code of the Freaks', 'What Does Australia Really Think About Disability?', 'Untold Australia: Love Me As I Am' (SBS)Source: SBS
International Day of People with Disability is held on 3 December each year. It's a day aimed at increasing public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.
SBS Guide

29 Nov 2021 - 4:14 PM  UPDATED 6 Dec 2021 - 11:39 AM

SBS On Demand has put together a collection of thoughtful films and documentaries aimed at sparking conversations and challenging the way we talk about disability in Australia.


Team Chocolate

If you are after something heart-warming, then this Belgian drama is for you. Jasper Vloemans, a young man with Down Syndrome, falls in love with Tina Dibrani, one of his colleagues at the small chocolate factory where they work. When Tina is deported to Kosovo, Jasper and his co-workers, all differently abled, embark on a road trip to find her. Meanwhile they have no idea that the boss is fighting to prevent the company being overtaken by rich foreign investors. Friendship, family and falling in love form the heart of this deliciously feel-good series with wonderful performances.

A man road trips across Europe to be reunited with the love of his life in 'Team Chocolate'
Friendship, family and falling in love. The Belgian TV drama 'Team Chocolate' is the heart-warming and feel-good series we need right now.

Team Chocolate is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


What Does Australia Really Think About… Disability?

In a ground-breaking new documentary series, SBS seeks to explore how stigma and prejudice impact the lives of millions of Australians. In episode 1, Kurt Fearnley investigates what Australia really thinks about disability through emotional personal stories, confronting social experiments, covert filming and an in-depth nationwide survey. The series uses surveys reviewed by the University of Melbourne, University of Queensland and La Trobe University to reveal where Australians stand on this topic. The results paint a clear picture of how stereotypes and misconceptions are still incredibly prevalent in Australian society.

What Does Australia Really Think About... is now streaming at SBS On Demand (also available with ArabicKoreanVietnameseSimplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese subtitles).


Code of the Freaks

Code of the Freaks presents a radical reframing of the use of disabled characters in film. Using hundreds of clips spanning over 100 years of moviemaking, and a cast of disabled artists, scholars and activists, it's a scorching critique of some of Hollywood's most beloved characters. This revelatory documentary investigates the power of movie imagery to shape the beliefs and behaviours of the general public toward disabled people and of disabled people toward themselves. Code of the Freaks debunks well-worn tropes – the miracle cure, the blind guy driving a car, the magical little people, the face-feelers, the sexless, the better off dead – and brings an entirely fresh perspective. It dares to imagine a cinematic landscape that centres the voices of people with disability.

Code of the Freaks airs on SBS VICELAND on Friday 3 December at 8:30pm and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Maddy the Model

The Australian model Maddy Stuart has walked the catwalk at New York Fashion Week, been on the cover of international fashion magazines, and has more than 700,000 followers on Facebook. But life is not straightforward, as Maddy has to fight her own battles every day. She is the first professional supermodel with Down Syndrome. A young woman, who – with her mother as an eternal supporter – challenges the norms of beauty as she breaks down barriers all over the world for people with disabilities. But does Maddy's career ensure greater diversity and inclusion within the industry – or is she just the latest trend in the fashion world?

Maddy the Model airs on SBS VICELAND on Friday 3 December at 9:50pm and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Untold Australia: Love Me As I Am

Finding love is a tricky business at the best of times, but for young people with intellectual or learning disabilities, the challenges and stigma surrounding dating and relationships can be overwhelming. Finally, help is at hand. Straight-talking relationship coach, Liz Dore, is on a mission to break the taboos surrounding love and relationships for all. Our cameras join her as she helps six young people find love and acceptance on their own terms. Now Liz is putting her pioneering program to the ultimate test as she takes this diverse group on the adventure of a lifetime: their first-ever debutante ball. From awkward first dates to managing a relationship, it's a rollercoaster ride of heartbreaking vulnerability, breathtaking honesty and life-affirming joy.

Untold Australia: Love Me As I Am is now streaming at SBS On Demand (also streaming with Arabic and Simplified Chinese subtitles).



The A Word

A is for autism in this UK drama series, at its heart, young Joe Hughes, played with aplomb by Max Vento. When Joe is diagnosed, his parents, Alison and Paul (Morven Christie and Lee Ingleby) are flooded with worries. As with most families, none of them knows how to talk about it or express their many feelings adequately, causing friction and adding to their stress. This smart contemporary drama is filled with ideas about parenthood, disability, community and communicating. It's also audacious and funny, raw and loving.

‘The A Word’ is a much-loved family drama with a difference
‘The A Word’ is about love, parenthood, community and how no one can drive you round the bend quite like your own family.

The A Word seasons 1–3 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Breaking the Biz

Breaking the Biz is a documentary which tells the story of Australia's foremost globally innovative, inclusive filmmaking organisation, Bus Stop Films, and its mission to make the film industry inclusive of all people. The film follows the journey of Joni Campbell, a young woman with intellectual disability who enrols in Bus Stop's accessible film studies program and undergoes the adventure of making a short film with eleven of her peers with intellectual disability.

Breaking the Biz airs on SBS on Thursday 2 December at 2:25pm and will be available at SBS On Demand after broadcast.



Life is a Battlefield

Filmed over five years, Life is a Battlefield shares the story of feisty young adult Uli Kaplan, who faces everyday struggles with chronic illness, mental health issues and a disability. Watch him find acceptance, purpose and success through this two-hour insight into his life. Unable to eat and with less than fifty percent of his lungs working, Uli shows through his blunt humour and stubborn determination how people with a disability do not just have the right to survive, but to also thrive in whatever they choose to pursue.

In opening up and sharing the highs and lows of his life, Uli inadvertently finds a deeper acceptance of who he is, struggles and all, and a new passion to be a voice for all others who live with a disability.

Life is a Battlefield airs on SBS Saturday 4 December at 3:40pm and will be available to stream at SBS On Demand after broadcast.


Focus on Ability Film Festival 2021

Focus on Ability Film Festival is a short film festival which is aimed at raising awareness of the abilities of people with disability, with participants from all over the globe competing for over $100,000 worth of cash and prizes. Films must be a maximum of 5 minutes duration and carry the theme of focussing on the ability of people with disability. This year saw a total of 267 entries, including 82 school entrants and 62 international films from 19 countries. 

Focus on Ability Film Festival 2021 airs on SBS Friday 3 December at 4:10pm and will be available on SBS On Demand after broadcast.



Explore the full collection at SBS On Demand. 


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