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Chris' tale of two narratives

I really think I should flag this quite excellent piece by my old friend Chris Whittaker up. In it, Chris looks at the two contrasting ways to represent disabled people in the media - that of the scrounger and that of the valiant hero - and draws some fairly interesting conclusions. As he points out the increasing portrayal of people with disabilities as burdens on society has lead to a worrying resurgence in medical model thinking: it is not society which imposes barriers upon us, but, trapped in our abnormal bodies, all we can do is beg for scraps off society's table. Thus, as Chris says, '' The case for the 'contribution' based narrative [which frames people with disabilities as having a positive effect on society] should also continue to be made in an assertive way.'' That is precisely what I seek to do in my writing and film making.

Comments

If you were genuinely au fait with the social model, you would refrain from using 'people first' language.

A) language style has only a tenuous connection to the social model: it is not a physical barrier in the way that the lack of ramps is. B) I like to vary the phrases I use, so I use both disabled people and people with disabilities.

In my experience, such matters are emphasised by those with only minor experience of disability oppression, but who want to sound as if they're experts. The rest of us are more concerned with more pressing issues. I resent your attempt to belittle me as a disability commentator, as if you don't think I have enough knowledge to write on the subject.

Due to a spam infestation, commenting has been temporarily disabled. Contact me if you have something intersting/useful to add, and I may add you comment to my entry (giving credit, of course).