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TOPIC: Disabilities and the media

Disabilities and the media 28 Oct 2016 10:55 #10725

  • Bibiana.V
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This week the subject of people with disabilities kept coming up in my life.
Last weekend I went to fix my husband’s IPhone screen at the Apple store. As soon as we walked into the Apple store (at the 3rd St. Promenade) we saw a variety of different employees they were all different, ages, races, and they all had their own individual styles. We were very glad to see that such a popular and wealthy corporation is hiring a diverse collection of staff members. Later when we were finally called up to see a technician a woman walked up to us with an IPad and typed a message stating that she was deaf and that we would be communicating by writing on the IPad back and forth. Although we were surprised we were delighted to see that Apple hires a diverse group of people and that they don’t discriminate against people with disabilities.
Yesterday I went to the new Starbucks (on Pico and Stewart) which I also consider to be a popular and wealthy Corporation, and I was delighted to see that the girl at the drive through window was a dwarf. I think these two companies are a great example to other small businesses and to society. We should not discriminate against people with a so called disability. We never know if some unfortunate event in our own life will leave us with a disability.
Today I saw some posts on Facebook specifically about children with disabilities. One was a Public service announcement about children with disabilities. In the short video a parent is walking through a grocery store with their child and suddenly he has a breakdown and runs off away from his mother and he knocks off items off the shelves. People walking by give them dirty looks and only one person offers to help them. The PSA says to “make a difference and accept differences”. Another disability related post I saw on Facebook was from Toys “R” Us. They will be adjusting the store’s atmosphere and making it a more relaxed environment for children and shoppers with Autism for an hour period of time.
I think the media has a huge part in showing people to be inclusive and caring of people with disabilities. There are a lot of movies where people with disabilities are made fun of and seen as humorous characters. There have also been a few movies about children with autism that try to educate people on what it might be like to be autistic or be a parent to an autistic child. Recently we have a lot of reality shows about “little people” and showing them in their everyday struggle.
It is nice to see people with disabilities in the media with positive roles.
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Disabilities and the media 06 Nov 2016 20:28 #10842

  • rebecca.w
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I appreciate your article on people with disabilities. I am hearing impaired and enjoy hearing about a deaf person working in customer service for a well-known company in a highly skilled job position. I wouldn't know the first thing about fixing an iPad. I recently went to a surf event for autistic children and witnessed a meltdown in the parking lot with a child running in front of cars while exhibiting stemming and non-verbal screams. Since I recognized the behavior, I made a sympathetic face at the mother who made eye contact with me that looked both apologetic and ashamed. I felt for her since oftentimes autistic behavior can look like a temper tantrum from a spoiled or undisciplined child. Women face the judgment and ridicule of mommy wars even more deeply when their child is autistic. The PSA you mentioned by Toys R Us is a great step is expanding awareness as autism continues to affect a growing number of children. Large corporations enjoy many privileges and exemptions in the American capitalist economy and political system, so they should also have a social responsibility to give back. I am curious about the charitable contributions and political activism Toys R Us engages in as well. Not to be cynical, but it has been a common theme for advertisers to appeal to viewers by posing as champions of social justice and positioning their products or brand at the center of progressive initiatives. The topic du jour seems to be an extremely effective marketing tool and it may be another thinly veiled attempt to attract consumers, rather than effect any real change. Corporations have both power and influence, so I would hope that Toys R Us does more for the Autism community than producing a commercial and making stores more welcoming to their intended demographic.
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