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Disability media watch

Many sections of the media are well known for their inability to handle human complexity and disability stories and issues.

Media images and stories influence thinking and establish social norms. There are some enlightened areas of the media but, in general, people with disabilities have endured misrepresentation, defamation, and lack of representation in the media news and entertainment.

There are several organisations dedicated to exposing the pervasive 'stereotyped' conceptions of disability constructed by mass media. They work to advocate mature and informed media awareness of disability by raising concerns about media representation and by confronting the lack of participation in the media by people with disabilities and suggesting solutions that better represent us.

There are several bodies which expose the real damage of media discrimination and advocate for something better (the links on this page open external sites):

  • UK-based Disability Now's Mediawatch gives easy-to-access analysis of media portrayals
  • The Canadian Media Awareness Network are concerned with the damage caused by limited media portrayal.
  • SANE Australia's StigmaWatch highlight examples of good and bad media practice.
  • UK-based Rethink advocate innovative and appropriate approaches to media interaction.
  • The DREDF (American-based 'Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund') has a wealth of information and links on media and disability.