Representations of Disability in the Media

Drawing on a lifetime of academic, activist and personal experience of disability, radical scholar Angela Anderson will provide an introduction to and analysis of disability representation in media. Examining the language of ability, including the current academic standard “person-first language,” introduces problems of representation, the preferences of disability communities, and medical versus social models of disability. Representation standards and watchdog efforts of other subjugated communities contextualize disability representation and inform potential tactics. Not only does Hollywood lack people with disabilities in front of and behind the camera, but it also habitually casts able-bodied actors in the very few roles depicting disability. Incorporating Stuart Hall’s “Spectacle of the Other,” Angela analyzes her recent activist project that successfully changed depiction of disability, and closes with her vision for both immediate and future activism around disability representation in media.

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Angela Anderson