Redefining Disability | Connecticut Public Radio

Redefining Disability

Apr 4, 2013

If you take a look at movies or TV, you’d think that having a disability is the worst fate possible-- maybe even worse than death.  Better to not be born at all than struggle through life unable to walk, hear, see or talk.

Then there’s the flip side - the media loves to show us the brave, courageous, inspiring stories of disabled people. Those stories meant to teach a lesson of compassion to the able bodied. But people living with disabilities are beginning to challenge these ideas. Their impairments are not the problem, but it’s social and environmental barriers that make them “disabled.”

And as for that “sympathetic” portrayal, long the standard practice of the Jerry Lewis telethon? Disabled advocates are pushing for a new picture that doesn’t pity or single out - but treats everyone as equals.

Today, we’ll look at the history of the disability rights movement, and how we got to where we are today. We’ll discuss changing perceptions, and how media and news coverage affect our views about disabilities.

This program was produced by Brianna Gross.