SuperStorm Sandy was a wakeup call for emergency responders helping people with disabilities

News coverage of people with disabilities and about accessibility for the disabled is often sparse. Now, a startup news service,, is reporting stories that describe these challenges from the perspective of people with disabilities.

Lens15 describes its mission this way: “One billion, or 15%, of all people across the globe have some kind of physical, sensory or developmental impairment, but media depictions of this population largely reduce these individuals to caricatures that are either helpless or inspirational. By looking at the news through the lens of disability, we strive to reveal a fuller picture of this community and point toward solutions to barriers that limit social, economic and political inclusion.”

Before launching Lens15 Media in 2022, Jason Strother spent 15 years filing stories for US and other international media outlets from Seoul, South Korea another datelines across the globe. His reporting on disability is informed by his own experience having a low vision impairment.

Jason is an adjunct professor at New Jersey’s Montclair State University, where he’s created courses on freelancing overseas as well as how people with disabilities are portrayed in entertainment, journalism and social media. He is also an advisory board member of the National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University.

Jason’s work has been supported by grants from the National Geographic Society, UC Berkeley’s 11th Hour Food in Farming Fellowship and he is a US Fulbright Scholar.

Jason has given SBN permission to cross-post two of his documentaries here for SBN readers.

Hurricane Sandy

In 2012, Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of New Jersey and New York. For many people with disabilities, the disaster should have been a wake up call for more inclusive emergency management. But, some say not much has changed since then. One Sandy survivor tells her story. You can watch this news report in the player below, or watch a version with audio description here.


After Hurricane Sandy, disability advocates in New Jersey realized emergency responders didn’t know how to safely evacuate and shelter people with physical, sensory or developmental impairments. So, they started teaching them.

You can watch this news report in the player below, or watch a version with audio description here.

You can learn more about and its news coverage of people with disabilities in this video explainer: