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Media, Marketing, and Disability Sport

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Moe Wadman

on 24 October 2016

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Transcript of Media, Marketing, and Disability Sport

The media representation of disability in general
lack of understanding
under representation
traditional views of disability
Media portrayal of sport
Coverage of Olympics v. Paralympics
England: 540 hours v. 10-12 hours
New Zealand: four one hour special
s aft
Lack of recognition
Lack of pictures
hiding disability v. focusing on it
passive posing
over representation of individuals in wheelchairs

Examples of Representation on Television
Media, Marketing, and
Disability Sport

Tarah Thompson & Moe Wadman
~ Dr. Virginia Dixon
Compensation/substitute gift
~Cordelia Foxx
Leads to Courage/achievement
~Tyrion Lannister
Object of fun/pity
~ Forrest Gump
(mental impairment)
Object of charity
~ Tiny Tim
95% of characters with disabilities are played by able-bodied actors

Should able-bodied actors be allowed to play characters with disabilities? Explain your reasoning.
Down syndrome

Stars in Fox's American Horror Story seasons 1,3, and 4

First model with Down's to walk New York Fashion Week
Jamie Brewer







What are your thoughts on the photoshopped models? Should they have just photographed the athletes, instead? How does this influence the people's perceptions of disability?
What are your thoughts on Maysoon Zayid's statement, "The doctors said I wouldn't walk, but I am here in front of you. However, if I grew up with social media, I don't think I would be."? How do you think social media influences the thought patterns and motivations of individuals, specifically those with disabilities?
What are some TV shows or movies that have individuals with disabilities as main or supporting characters? Are they portrayed positively or negatively?

Role models in printed media
distinct lack of athletes with disabilities
The "super-crisp"
emphasis being placed on disability
defeats of Olympic teams v. Paralympic teams
"Courageously overcoming disability"
Struggling for "normality"
Media presence
slow increase
comparison to Olympic Games
Increasing cost and income
branding the Paralympics
"yet to be regarded as competitive and as valuable as Olympic sport."
This chapter talked about media coverage of Paralympians. At one point, it specifically touched on the photographs of athletes with disabilities. Do you think Paralympic athletes are photographed differently than able-bodied athletes? Is the disability emphasized, or are our eyes simply drawn to the difference?

Why do you think there was a “difference in the viewing figures on ParalympicSport.TV between the Turin 2006 Winter Games and the Beijing 2008 Summer Games?” Why are the Paralympics not aired on TV in the United States to the extent that they are in other countries?
This class is full of able-bodied individuals,
how does the representation of disability affect us? Why should we care about how disability is portrayed?
In the chapter, we are given a quote by an athlete:

the physically disabled, there's nothing wrong with our brains, and we've got things that we can do that they probably can't do, you know skills and that kind of thing. But unless they actually see more disabled people being successful at various roles, then it's hard to get it across that disabled people are just as able and equal to able-bodied people. (Ina in Brittain, 2002, pp. 156-7)

Why do people with physical disabilities tend to put themselves above people with mental disabilities? Is it right for them to treat individuals with mental impairments in a way they themselves are protesting against?
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