Disability Response

According to Mairs, the only thing “normal” about seeing disabled people on TV was their daily appearance on a medical drama. As the time went by since 1987, Anaya wrote on how disabilities have become more normal in our everyday lives, however now mental illness is negatively portrayed in the media. Media has a misrepresentation of disability as a whole. Disability is portrayed as something to fear rather than something to embrace and except. In “Disability”, Mairs explained that people were never depicted by the media as being disabled and making the best of their situation.
Instead media depicted these people as living lives that were overrun by their disability and as if disability determined if they should live. Because of this there is a fear of disability, a misrepresentation that does not portray disability as something that people can deal with or survive through. Currently the fear of disabled comes directly from what the media is displaying. Since 1987 disability has become more common to see on TV, even if it has nothing to do with the plot of a show.
In Anaya’s essay on disability, she wrote that programs on TV imply that the proper response to mentally disabled is fear. The TV also shows mentally disabled as a threat to themselves and a threat to others. Anaya gave examples from the news one which a mentally disable had killed a person and after took his own life. This misrepresentation of the disabled is what is causing people fear. If the media didn’t just portray mentally disabled as a threat but showed something positive, such as the “Special Olympics”, disability would no longer be a fear. Disability could be shown as something to embrace.


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