1st Edition

Disability Representation in Film, TV, and Print Media

Edited By Michael S. Jeffress Copyright 2022
    278 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    278 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Using sources from a wide variety of print and digital media, this book discusses the need for ample and healthy portrayals of disability and neurodiversity in the media, as the primary way that most people learn about conditions.

    It contains 13 newly written chapters drawing on representations of disability in popular culture from film, television, and print media in both the Global North and the Global South, including the United States, Canada, India, and Kenya. Although disability is often framed using a limited range of stereotypical tropes such as victims, supercrips, or suffering patients, this book shows how disability and neurodiversity are making their way into more mainstream media productions and publications with movies, television shows, and books featuring prominent and even lead characters with disabilities or neurodiversity.

    Disability Representation in Film, TV, and Print Media will be of interest to all scholars and students of disability studies, cultural studies, film studies, gender studies, and sociology more broadly.

    Michael S. Jeffress

    1. Parasocial contact effects and a disabled actor in Speechless
    Lingling Zhang and Beth Haller

    2. Women with disability: Sex object and supercrip stereotyping on reality television’s Push Girls
    Donnalyn Pompper and Krystan Holtzthum

    3. A critical examination of the intersection of sexuality and disability in Special, a Netflix series
    Adam Davies, Kimberly Maich, Christina Belcher, Elaine Cagulada, Madeleine DeWelles, and Tricia van Rhijn

    4. Euphemistic processes on the MDA Show of Strength Telethon, 2012-2014: The Post-Jerry Lewis years
    Emily Stones

    5. Hegemonic constructions and corporeal deviance in portrayals of physically disabled women characters on Saturday Night Live
    Kristen Hungerford

    6. Inspiring people or perpetuating stereotypes?: The complicated case of disability as inspiration
    Leah Cameron, Irena Knezevic, and Roy Hanes

    7. The patronized supercrip: A textual analysis of The Peanut Butter Falcon
    Shelby E. Landmark

    8. How Silence Rhetorically Constructs Deafness in A Quiet Place: The Silent Treatment
    Sarah Mayberry Scott

    9. The communication of disability through children’s media: Potential, problems, and potential problems
    Madeleine DeWelles

    10. Discursive representations of disability in children’s picture books on disabled parents
    Ameera Ali

    11. An interrogation of select Indian literary works through disability discourse: Loud yet unheard
    Anil K. Aneja​ and Shilpa B S L

    12. Abuse and/as disability in Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s Dirty River: How to speak without words
    Anna M. Moncada Storti

    13. Media, culture, and news framing of disability in Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper Mauryne Abwao and Suman Mishra


    Michael S. Jeffress (PhD, Regent University) is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has been involved in disability advocacy work since the late-1990s, after his son was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He is a past recipient of the Top Paper Award from the Disability Issues Caucus of the National Communication Association. He is the author of Communication, Sport and Disability: The Case of Power Soccer (2015) and editor of Pedagogy, Disability and Communication: Applying Disability Studies in the Classroom (2017) and International Perspectives on Teaching with Disability: Overcoming Obstacles and Enriching Lives (2018), all in Routledge’s Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Series.