In the past, the Charity Model of Disability dominated media representation of disabled people. Disabled people were represented as being the tragic victims of their condition and the passive recipients of charity, or as 'triumphing over tragedy' to lead a semi-normal life.
Now, however, the Scientific Model of Disability dominates the media, and by extension our society.
Since disabled people are regarded as being an abnormal minority who will soon disappear, it follows that media representation of disabled people is confined to modern versions of the freak show. The media is driven by what is new, and needs to be seen as cutting edge in order to compete in the market place. As a result the media portrays what it believes to be the society of the near future - a society that has no disabled people within it - rather than the reality. This echoes the general invisibility of disabled people within the Scientific Model.
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© Ju Gosling aka ju90 2008
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