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.

chapter |9 pages


ByMichael S. Jeffress

chapter 1|14 pages

Parasocial contact effects and a disabled actor in Speechless

ByLingling Zhang, Beth Haller

chapter 2|20 pages

Women with disability

Sex Object and Supercrip stereotyping on reality television's Push Girls
ByDonnalyn Pompper, Krystan Holtzthum

chapter 3|21 pages

A critical examination of the intersection of sexuality and disability in Special, a Netflix series

ByAdam Davies, Kimberly Maich, Christina Belcher, Elaine Cagulada, Madeleine DeWelles, Tricia van Rhijn

chapter 4|23 pages

Euphemistic processes on the MDA Show of Strength Telethon, 2012–2014

The post-Jerry Lewis years
ByEmily Stones

chapter 6|20 pages

Inspiring people or perpetuating stereotypes?

The complicated case of disability as inspiration
ByLeah Cameron, Irena Knezevic, Roy Hanes

chapter 7|17 pages

The patronized supercrip

A textual analysis of The Peanut Butter Falcon
ByShelby E. Landmark

chapter 8|17 pages

How silence rhetorically constructs deafness in A Quiet Place

The silent treatment
BySarah Mayberry Scott

chapter 9|18 pages

The communication of disability through children's media

Potential, problems, and potential problems
ByMadeleine DeWelles

chapter 11|18 pages

An interrogation of select Indian literary works through disability discourse

Loud yet unheard
ByAnil K. Aneja, B. S. L. Shilpa

chapter 12|19 pages

Abuse and/as disability in Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's Dirty River

How to speak without words
ByAnna M. Moncada Storti

chapter 13|20 pages

Media, culture, and news framing of disability in Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper

ByMauryne Abwao, Suman Mishra