The 28-year-old actor who has ataxic cerebral palsy and plays Ryan Stocks in the ITV soap has been given the Seal of Authentic Representation award by the Ruderman Family Foundation for his impact in ‘Emmerdale’.
In a tweet following the announcement, James wrote: “Thank you to the @RudermanFdn for giving Emmerdale (and I!) the Seal of Authentic Representation award for my character Ryan. It’s amazing that the impact of my casting has reached American shores, and I’m so honoured to be recognised by this incredible organisation! (sic)”
The Ruderman Family Foundation advocates for the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout society.
James feels proud that his efforts on the show have been recognised by the foundation.
He told Deadline: “I have been following them for a long time and I am so grateful for their work continuing to advocate for the fair representation of disability in media. It is amazing to have recognition from an international organisation, especially one that I have such high respect and admiration for.”
James was previously crowned the Best Newcomer at the National Television Awards for his performances in ‘Emmerdale’.
And the actor is determined to show that people with disabilities can “have as fulfilling a life as anyone else”.
He explained: “We are certainly getting better in terms of disability representation.
“I think that now we are kind of beginning to make waves, and it is a bit of an eye opener for a lot of people but at the same time we still have a long way to go in terms of making film and TV accessible.”