Bad representation reinforces toxic positivity and gaslights the disabled experience. The 2 existing media narratives - “against all odds” ....he walked again/she recovered from the brain tumour, never complained and won the medal...
Or narrative 2, the “tragic diagnosis” - and specifically how it ruins the lives of the people around the disabled person, how hard it is for the ‘loved ones’ to carry the burden. The net effect of this is that abled society expects disabled people to fit archetype 1 -
And be sailing the Atlantic single handedly whilst miraculously recovering from their condition, or they will die- graciously - leaving behind the main character, the loved ones.
These narratives centre recovery and achievement or the emotional journey of loved ones- leaving no space for the disabled person. These narratives are deeply ingrained in social interactions that society performs
A disabled person talks about their physical pain- abled person tells them to do yoga - they will feel better if they drink more water or try veganism. A disabled person cannot get to work because public transport is inaccessible-
Abled person - that cannot be true! A person with the same condition as you did climbed Mount Everest - you are not trying to get to work hard enough. As a disabled person you spend most of your life not being believed or accommodated due to these pervasive
Narratives, or overlooked entirely as you are written off and the story becomes how tragic it is for you parents that you won’t reach your full potential / they can’t walk you down the isle / you won’t be a premiere league footballer . It sucks. Hire disabled people

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