e d g e - education for disability and gender equity

CULTURE
CONTENTS

1
Introduction
2
Stereotyping
3
Disability in Media
4
Disability & Art
5
Charity Images
6
Telethons
7
News Media
8
Disability Culture
 
9
ACTIVITY
10
RESOURCES
   

SELF-TEST - TEXT VERSION
Read the question carefully, then click on the letter of the answer you think fits the question best:

1. Which groups in society are most likely to be portrayed as stereotypes in the media?
A. writers and painters
B. minority groups
C. rich and powerful people

2. Which of the following best describes how the media has traditionally viewed people with disabilities?
A. as heroic individuals bravely overcoming adversity

B. as victims of their conditions, who need help and charity in order to survive
C. both of the above

3. Why are so many people with disabilities unemployed and low-income?
A. because their disabilities make it impossible for them to work
B. because there aren't enough charity programs to support all people with disabilities
C. because of job discrimination, negative attitudes, and lack of opportunities

4. Why do some disability-rights activists object to the Jerry Lewis Telethon?
A. because it reinforces pity and prejudice, and harms the self-respect of people with disabilities.
B. because it does not raise enough money.
C. because Jerry Lewis isn't funny.

5. Which of the following currently characterizes most prize-winning newspaper articles about disability?
A. in-depth exploration of complex political and economic issues affecting people with disabilities.
B. human interest stories, emphasizing the tragedy of disability, and the inspirational courage of individuals with disabilities.
C. stories written by people with disabilities themselves, expressing their own views about their experiences.

6. Which of the following themes is most likely to be expressed by an artist or writer who is part of the Disability Culture movement?
A. the tragedy of disability, and the importance of overcoming disability.
B. pride, group solidarity in the disability community, and the complex and rich experience of living with a disability.
C. advice about how to select and purchase a wheelchair.

7. What was the most important factor in creating the Disability Culture movement?
A. the emergence of the disability-rights and independent living movements.
B. anger among people with disabilities about the way they were portrayed in popular culture.

C. greater availability of arts education to more people with different kinds of disabilities.

8. Which of the following statements about people with disabilities, the media, and popular culture is most true?
A. All artists, writers, and performers who have disabilities are helping to promote disability pride and disability culture.
B. People without disabilities cannot possibly understand or adequately portray the disability experience.
C. The creative works of artists, writers, and performers with disabilities is both challenging and enriching the popular culture.

ANSWERS:

1 - A: No. Writers and painters are creators of media, and only occasionally subjects of it.
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1 - B: Correct. People of color, people with disabilities, gay and lesbian people, and other minority groups are frequently presented in stereotypical ways in the media.
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1 - C: No. Rich and powerful people tend to have a great deal of influence on the media, which often supports their interests.
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2 - A: This is a common view, in which people with disabilities are shown as isolated individuals, without any social or political context to explain the obstacles facing them.
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2 - B: This is also a common view, evoking pity and generosity but not respect toward people with disabilities.
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2 - C: Correct. Although these two views may seem contradictory, they both occur frequently in the media, and they both help to perpetuate shallow, negative attitudes toward people with disabilities.
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3 - A: No. While some serious health conditions do preclude employment, most people with disabilities can and want to work.
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3 - B: No. Most people with disabilities do not need charity in order to work. They need opportunities, on-the-job supports (which may be provided by employers, by government programs, by disabled employees themselves, or occasionally by non-profit charitable organizations).
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3 - C: Correct. These factors are more responsible for unemployment and poverty than disabilities themselves.
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4 - A: Correct. These effects may limit the opportunities available to people with disabilities.
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4 - B: No. Activists have criticized the ideas and images presented by the Telethon, not the amount of money it raises.
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4 - C: No. While this may be true, it is not the basis of activists' objections.
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5 - A: No. Most articles fail to address these issues in enough depth.
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5 - B: Correct. These kinds of stories are common in newspapers throughout the U.S.
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5 - C: No. Very few major daily newspapers have people with disabilities working for them, reporting on disability issues or anything else.
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6 - A: No. These themes are more likely to be presented in traditional cultural products, such as mainstream books and movies, created by nondisabled people.
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6 - B: Correct. These are themes in the works of Cheryl Marie Wade, Greg Smith, Dan Keplinger, Neil Marcus, Laura Hershey, and many other artists and writers with disabilities.
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6 - C: No. While these kinds of practical issues do arise in some of the disability community's magazines and websites, they are not frequent themes in disability art.
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7 - A: Correct. These movements brought disabled people together, helped to create a group identity, and nurtured ideas about pride and choices and rights, all important themes in the the Disability Culture movement.
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7 - B: No. While this is one factor which motivates some artists with disabilities, is less important than pride and the desire to express the power and beauty of the disability community.
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7 - C: No. While this has been one factor in expanding opportunities to some artists with disabilities, it is not the driving force behind the Disability Culture movement.
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8 - A: No. Some of these creators do not deal with disability themes at all. However, they may still be important as role models to other aspiring artists who have disabilities.
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8 - B: No. This is a generalization which is not always true. Some nondisabled artists have created compelling explorations of different aspects of the disability experience.
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8 - C: Correct. Artists, writers, and performers with disabilities continue to enrich our culture immensely.
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