CULTURE - or - Are media images of people with disabilities accurate?
Perceptions about people with disabilities are
the main cause of discriminatory practices against people with disabilities.
The historical and cultural roots of conventional media images of people
with disabilities are examined in the Culture
Module. Examples ranging from historical paintings to current music
videos are employed to show a persistent cultural perception. Activities
ask students to match favorite people with their disabilities, as well
as invent an advertising campaign.
Disability Studies Quarterly - http://www.cds.hawaii.edu/
Edge - http://www.ragged-edge-mag.com/
Edge links - http://www.raggededgemagazine.com/gen/linkgen.htm
Resource Library - http://www.deaflibrary.org/
Deaf Resources - http://www.deafweb.org/blackdef.htm
People of America - http://www.lpaonline.org/
SOME NOTABLE PEOPLE
Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins - Musician (TLC) - http://www.usatoday.com/life/health/doctor/lhdoc233.htm
Hockenberry - http://users.techline.com/dimples/index.html
BEFORE USING THE CULTURE MODULE
- Have the students list characteristics that they associate with
people with disabilities. Ask them to identify media sources for those
beliefs - they can use music videos, books, magazines, films or websites.
- Have the students list all the famous people that they know are
disabled. Discuss why the list is so short. Discuss why people who
have disabilities may not be publicly known to be disabled.
- Have the students list characters from movies or books who have
disabilities. Discuss how many of these characters were played by
non-disabled actors. In books have students consider if the character
was portrayed as a victim, a hero, or a villain.
AFTER USING THE CULTURE MODULE
- Have the students compare disability-run publications and nondisabled
publications - print or online. What are the similarities and differences
of the news coverage of disabled people? How do the issues raised
by the EDGE Culture module inform their analyses?
- Have the students search teen sites for information about teens
with disabilities. Are the sites accessible to teens who use screen
readers (i.e. is there a text option)? Do teens with disabilities
participate in these sites?
- Have students consider gender issues- are disabilities among
women considered worse than disabilities among men? Do disabled men
and women differ in how they react to having a disability? Does society
treat these people differently? How and why?
LESSON PLAN AND CONTENT
After a general introduction to culture and disability, this lesson
delves deeply covering stereotyping, disability in the media, disability
and art, charity images, telethons, news media, and disability culture.
Included are both current images as well as historical, and disabled,
figures such as the artist Goya.
Three activities are available for this lesson.
Activity 1 asks students to match
up the famous celebrity with their disability. This is both a high-interest
activity as well as very informative.
2 asks students to examine their attitudes about people with
disabilities by asking such questions as: "Can a blind person announce
a baseball game?" and "Can a person with cerebral palsy make a movie?"
3 asks students to create an offline fundraising advertisement
for "World Wheels." Students are given design guidelines and then asked
to evaluate their design based on the disability images represented.
This Self-Test is the most complex of
all the lessons. Students are give four choices to each of the eight
questions. It reflects the lessons as well as the activities.
A wide range of people with disabilities
are presented including: Don Wardlow, a baseball announcer who is blind;
celebrities with disabilities; as well as athletes, actors and radio
for further learning
Arts organizations, disability culture magazines and media organizations
are included here.
- Part 6 - Other Useful Resources