It used to be that people with disabilities were put away in homes or institutions. Supposedly, this was because it would be better for the disabled person to receive individual attention and 24/7 care, but I also wonder if this approach was used because people saw those who had impairments as embarrassing or as a sign of parental failure.
These days, the disabled population is not only merely tolerated, but the community is also starting to be embraced in larger society. There is legislation to protect the basic rights of the disabled community and there are inclusion programs in schools to encourage socialization. Moreover, popular television shows like Glee, CSI, and The Good Wife have prominently featured characters with impairments, as do acclaimed feature films like Avatar and Ray. What’s more, these listed programs and films are only a portion – a small one — of the examples of disabled portrayals in the media. 2009 was a good year, 2011 is better. Eventually, we might get to a place where carrying a D Card is no big deal (just please leave us some good parking spaces!) (more…)