John Keenan Lecture

Disability Facts

  • 10 million disabled people in the U.K
  • 1 million in wheelchairs

Types of Disabilities

  • Physical Disability
  • Sensory Disability
  • Intellectual Disability e.g. dyslexia
  • Mental Health and Emotional Disability e.g. anorexia, depression, anxiety
  • Developmental Disability e.g. down syndrome

In our lecture with John Keenan we were shown different examples of how the disabled are presented in the media e.g. film, T.V, advertising and the stereotypes, which come with them:

  • Pitiable and Pathetic e.g. Sloth out of The Goonies
  • Object of curiosity and violence e.g. Captain Hook
  • Sinister-creates character, horrible inside and out.
  • Super cripple
  • Atmosphere
  • His/her own worst enemy-comforts the non disabled, relieves our guilt
  • Tiresome
  • Non sexual-we don’t tend to view them as sexually active
  • Unable to participate in real life
  • Laughable

When I thought of the disabled in the media, I could instantly think of many examples of the disabled being featured only to create humour. At first it may seem wrong but I hate to admit, it actually works. Here are some examples:

Little Britain-Lou and Andy (link)

Below is an episode from series 1 of The Inbetweeners, where the boys visit Thorpe Park and Will, unaware, insults the disabled. 

If I were disabled what would disable me?

Lack of lifts, stairs, escalators, small spaces, stereotyped, patronised, busy, crowded places, steep ramps/hills, cobbled/slippery surfaces.

When given the brief I thought of documenting things and places that accommodate to the disabled and places that don’t, disabled people within our society and disabled people in my family.

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