In his article "Hero or Victim: There's no other choices, Roy peter Clark talks about how in media a quadrapalegic or person in a wheel chair with diabilities is always either the victim or the hero and we never seem that as anything else.
Clark talks about his experience with his neighbor who was always seen as the "hero" in news stories in local media. He also talks about the case of Brian Sterner, who was dumped out of his wheelchair, onto the jailhouse floor by not only a woman, but a woman of color as well and while these are both not important in the story, theey make for an interesting twist on who the usual victim/perpertrator's are.
Clark points out that until the media starts portraying the disabled as something other than a hero or a victim, society won't change their views and I agree.
Once again, I refer back to my GRC class and how 90% of what people do,say,hear,feel,touch, whatever is impacted by the media. If in news stories and movies and tv shows we keep making the kid in a wheelchair the protaganist or the kid who no one likes, society is going to think only that. That disabled people are to either be hated and mde to feel awkward or that we should throw ourselves at their feet because they have such horrible lives.
I think disabilities should be dealt with like race and that its a big society thing...for the most part. Ovbiously there are very real physical differences that cause issues, but if a person in a wheelchair gets pissed when people feel bad for them or offer to help. Then they better not complain when it comes time to them needing pushed or something and no one does.
So, maybe someday we'll see a newstory where our focus is on John Doe who did something amazing and we interview a disabled person as the supporting detail and not the lede.