Portrayal of persons with disabilities in domestic commercial motion pictures

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Authors
Thomas, Avery
Turner, Tanya N.
Advisor
Issue Date
1996
Keyword
Degree
Thesis (M.A.)
Department
Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
Other Identifiers
Abstract

This paper examines attitudes regarding individuals with visible disabilities as portrayed in commercial motion pictures produced in the United States during the period from five years prior to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) to five years afterwards. Mindful of media's role in reflecting society's views, we examined a sample of motion pictures released pre- and post-passage of the ADA to attempt to determine if individuals with disabilities (IWD) were portrayed in more positive manners after passage of the ADA as a measure of the effectiveness of the new law. We found that despite a notable increase in motion pictures portraying IWD after the passage of ADA, the motion picture industry continues to depict IWD in negative ways.

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