I am a little obsessed about disability representations in media, because I know that media shapes most people’s ideas and opinions about disability, which go on to directly affect my life. Literally; my life. And my children’s lives and everyone else I know who has a disability!
This is no fluff-subject; disability representation in media directly affects our lives like very little else does.
Our society absolutely worships at the Alter of Media; our last president was a direct result of our cultural obsession with TV. The way that we are presented in movies and tv shows can quite literally mean whether or not we’ll be afforded equal rights, privileges, opportunities, respect, and access. We have enormous stakes in our representation and the ways in which our stories are told or in which we are invited to be a part of another’s story.
Because a lot of the stories about us are done without us. They are not played by us, and many of the stories are told without our perspective at all. Twisted, they turn into reflections of supposed inspiration, warped mirrors of our lived experiences.
I was lucky enough to participate in a roundtable discussion on disability in the media at the Pac Rim Conference hosted by UH Manoa’s Center on Disability Studies. There was a robust conversation on disability, media, access and more. I thought you might be interested, so I wanted to share the video of the conference here:
Opportunities and Obstacles: Roundtable Discussion on Representations of Disability in Film & Media
Some Links & Things Talked About on the Panel
Breaking into the business: experience of actors with disabilities in the entertainment industry, Raynor & Hayward, 2009
Becoming Bulletproof (film)
More Movie Reviews!More movies, reviewed! All related to disability
Meriah Nichols is a career counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E). Deaf, with C-PTSD and TBI, she’s also a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.