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Intellectual & Physical Disability: A Comprehensive Analysis on Media Representation

Harmsen, Ashtyn Andra
Vigneri, Grace Ann
Abstract
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The purpose of this collaborative project was to conduct a comprehensive analysis on media representation of intellectual and physical disabilities throughout history in the United States of America, from the nineteen-fifties to the present day. As a result of understanding the objectives and aims of this project and investigating previous research similar to this topic, qualitative data collection is the most appropriate methodology for this research topic. By compiling a series of media sources (e.g. movies, literature, scholarly articles, television shows, advertisement etc.), research and comprehensive analyses on representations of both intellectual and physical disabilities are compared and contrasted. Our research has highlighted the evolution of the misrepresentation of disabled individuals in the media, and raises awareness for this omnipresent issue. Our findings indicate that while individuals with disabilities have become more accepted and portrayed in media, stereotypes and misrepresentations are still prominent. Finally, we provide critical recommendations framed by disability studies theory along with alternative media resources that depict accurate disability representations.  By providing these recommendations and resources, individuals will critically reflect on their knowledge of disability representation in American media.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries