I work as a photographer/editor for a publication at my university. I recently got an assignment that covers accessibility for students with disabilities on our campus. It requires I take photos of SWDs (using a wheelchair, power scooter, crutches, etc.) using various features like ramps and elevators.
Normally, we photographers tend to just hang around waiting for a photo opportunity, approach a person, explain what we're working on, and ask to take a photo. However, I feel this could be a sensitive subject and think this approach would be in poor taste (not to mention inconvenient as my campus has a small student population, equating to a limited number of SWDs). I can't imagine saying, "Hi! I see you have a disability! Can I take your photo for [publication] for our story on accessibility?" It would put me off if I were on the receiving end.
I emailed the reporter for the assignment requesting any specific names of SWDs that she plans to interview or knows personally, hoping that I can email these students individually asking for permission to photograph them.
Do you have any suggestions on how to word these emails? I'm already aware to use person-first descriptions (e.g., saying "student with disabilities" instead of "disabled student"), but I'm not sure how to actually go about the message.