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The article “Heroes of Assimilation” describes many aspects of how people with disabilities are viewed in our society. There are many famous people with disabilities that stand up for causes to possibly find cures for their disabilities, i.e. Michael J. Fox. Politicians also stand for laws that fight discrimination of disabled people as described in the text. However, the definition of “disabled” has led many well-known people to not be up front about their “disability” or deny that they have one altogether. Do you think these people have a right to person privacy when it comes to their disability without a public backlash? Is there any universal definition of “disability” that might exclude these people?

One of the things that stuck out the most to me was that near the end of the article Riley brings up that some people with physical disabilities do not want to be lumped together with people with mental disabilities. Is that lumping together done inadvertently by some just because of the slightly blanket term "disability"? It's also worth considering (Riley brings it up) that individuals with a disability want to be treated just like everybody else, yet they also want to be acknowledged to some degree for their disability. Now to bring in the question I asked earlier, what can be done if individuals with a disability want to be treated the same, yet acknowledged for their disability, and at the same time not be lumped together with others with disabilities? I think that series of questions kind of hints at how outdated and how unfortunately little discussed this issue really is as a whole.

This seems like such a complex issue! It seems like a damned if you do and damned if you don't type of thing. My mother is on disability because she has fibromyalgia. She is fairly young and would like to work, but her company says there are no other jobs for her to do. I have seen her cry more than once, the trigger being someone asking her what she does for a living. Is there a stigma associated with disability? My mother seems to think so. If there is, what creates it?

In the reading, I am extremely interested with this topic, because I work and have worked with people of different ages with disabilities. One of my new favorite shows is Parenthood. On here is a boy who has Asperger’s a form of Autism. In the reading they talk about how there are certain “types” of disabilities that shows are more likely to cast. “…press and entertainment industries assign coverage of allot roles, casting according to the visibility and sentimental associations of particular disabilities.” (page 11.) In Parenthood, Max to me is either an extraordinary actor or he has the Asperger’s disability. What I am wondering is do these producers and writers take into consideration what each of these disabilities are? And the difficulty of working with different people because of their disability changes whom they cast?

In Heroes of Assimilation—How the Media Transform Disability the author states, “I would add that the media are complicit in this construction of disability because it defines the ways in which people with disabilities are ‘regarded,’ enforcing stereotypes that prolong the ‘domination’ (Charlston’s term) that has kept the community down. Although the ADA model is fairer than the medical one, it still splits the world into disabled and nondisabled. This isolation may suit the agendas of those who would opt for a separate disability culture (the radical Deaf with the capital D example comes to mind); it strikes me as inclined to bracket people with disabilities as ‘other’”. When thinking about today’s media, how do you feel people with disabilities are “regarded”? Do you feel like any progress has been made, or is there still a pretty large split/gap when talking about how the disabled and nondisabled are viewed?

In Heroes of Assimilation—How the Media Transform Disability the author states, “I would add that the media are complicit in this construction of disability because it defines the ways in which people with disabilities are ‘regarded,’ enforcing stereotypes that prolong the ‘domination’ (Charlston’s term) that has kept the community down. Although the ADA model is fairer than the medical one, it still splits the world into disabled and nondisabled. This isolation may suit the agendas of those who would opt for a separate disability culture (the radical Deaf with the capital D example comes to mind); it strikes me as inclined to bracket people with disabilities as ‘other’”. When thinking about today’s media, how do you feel people with disabilities are “regarded”? Do you feel like any progress has been made, or is there still a pretty large split/gap when talking about how the disabled and non-disabled are viewed?

I definitely understand the wishes of people with physical disabilities to not be grouped with those who have mental abilities and vice versa. But from the opposite point of view, it is difficult to address all of the different kinds of people with different disabilities without doing a large amount of grouping together. Such as the point Riley brings up about how most ads about physical disabilities have a wheelchair in them. I think most people are aware that there are so many more physical disabilities and people with disabilities that do not need a wheelchair it just seems like that is a universal symbol used to represent all people with disabilities. I guess I was just wondering if there is a way to represent everyone with disabilities in a fair way to each individual without forgetting anyone?

I like how the article used the phrase the "last minority" in describing people with disabilities although they make up a major part of the American population. No matter what part of the world you are from, if you are a disabled person you're devalued in society regardless of your race, sex, or gender. The media has explored issues of identity dealing with race, sex and gender but have mostly ignored giving light to the identity the disabled person. Rarely do they show a disable person in the work place, at a bar, etc. Why do you think this is? Why is being disabled so taboo in the media and in society even though disabled people make up 54 million of the U.S. population?

In the article it talked about how people added more and more restrictions as a disability (such as ADD). But is there ever a time when something from the disability list is classified as not a disability? There are people who are but didn't consider being "deaf" as a disability.
I can't think of any movies/tv shows as of this moment that didn't treat a disability as a pity figure or a comical sense. Has the media ever improved the social thought that a disability isn't a negative thing but rather just a small part of a person?

In the article "Heroes of Assimilation", the author quotes James Charlton in saying that "most political activists would define disability as a condition imposed on individuals by society". I think this is a very interesting notion, similar to race, it is a social construct created by society as a way of understanding people different from yourself and what you consider to be "normal". How does media affect society's perception of what should be labeled a disability? How does this representation limit the rights given to people that are considered to exist under term "disabled".

In the article, “Heroes of Assimilation,” the author describes every type of disabled person on television. He thinks of all these portrayals as bad stereotypes, because they show a disabled person who lives normally “despite” their disability, one who is depressed because of their disability, or one who “overcame” their disability. No matter what, the disability is an obstacle, and something that makes the person "not normal." I looked for this in the article and may have missed it, but how would the author LIKE disabled people to be portrayed in media? He condemns all representations of the handicapped in media, but offers no suggestions for how they can be changed.

I took a class about Disabilities a couple years ago and learned that there is a very thin line regarding the definition of having a disability. I think that most of society is confused, including myself, when trying to decifer what it means to be "disabled". After reading "Heroes of Assimilation" I now see that it is very common for people to get confused about what it means to be titled disabled. If a universal definition of disability was known and understood would this make it easier for people with disabilities to get their points across in media, politics, etc? Would people still believe the stereotype that disabled individuals are different than others and therefore should be treated differently?

I took a class about Disabilities a couple years ago and learned that there is a very thin line regarding the definition of having a disability. I think that most of society is confused, including myself, when trying to decifer what it means to be "disabled". After reading "Heroes of Assimilation" I now see that it is very common for people to get confused about what it means to be titled disabled. If a universal definition of disability was known and understood would this make it easier for people with disabilities to get their points across in media, politics, etc? Would people still believe the stereotype that disabled individuals are different than others and therefore should be treated differently?

i was wandering if at times people that have disabilities hied them from there employer os they can be hired? because i was watching homeland security and the main character had a metal disability. also if that is the case is there any statistics on how much that might happen? because that would be kind of scary thinking your Dr. might have some disorder especially when he is about to operate on you.

People with disabilities are often handed special treatment even when they don't necessarily want or need it. They just want to be treated the same as someone without a disability. In the article is says "Equality in this case arises from a little less special treatment or heroic awe-with further estranges the person with a disability from others..." If we started to treat people with disabilities as equals to everyone else, do you think it would fix the issue or end up with a reverse effect of people thinking we are neglecting people with disabilities?

I'm not to knowledgeable about the issue with disabilities, so this article was interesting to read. I found it interesting that the Americans with Disabilities Act has only recently took effect in 1992. If the Senate debate wasn't so emotional and if George H.W. Bush didn't have any family ties to the "silent army," how long would it have taken to actually get the ADA and recognize those with disabilities?

With any business employers hire people based off of their skills. Some positions require persons to have certain abilities in order to perform adequately. If there is someone who has a disability, is it possible to give a skills, dexterity, or comprehension evaluation that disabled people could take? How could this help disability discrimination in our society? Shouldn't we be focusing on the capabilities "disabled" people possess rather than inadequacies? Would this change the way people view the "disabled" ?

Reading the 'heroes of assimilation" article i asked myself a couple of time, " who is to say one is disabled?" and what does it mean? If i can't play baseball or play the guitar does that mean I'm disabled? The term disabled is usually meant to be a negative aspect of someone, why must people either feel ashamed to be or why must people feel they need to pity the disabled? Is media the one enforcing us to act this way or is it our own guilt?

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This page contains a single entry by Melody published on October 11, 2011 6:04 PM.

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