DSAB 242 – Disability and Mass Media
Instructor: Beth A. Haller, Ph.D.
Course description: This course will explore mediated views of disabled individuals. Students will learn to analyze how disability is portrayed in journalism, photography, film, advertising, and the Internet. The impact of various media models of disability representation will be explored, as well as their effect on disabled individuals, their construction of identity, and self-representation. One emphasis of this course will be the development of accessible media for online platforms.
• Selected readings will be posted in the Course Materials area of Blackboard. For others, you will find them on the Websites listed or as files on Blackboard.
• Chapters from Representing Disability in an Ableist world: Essays on Mass Media by Beth Haller (Advocado Press, 2010).
The Structure of the Course:
This course is Jan. 4-25 and assignments are due by 11:59 p.m. on the designated day. Please note that the classroom server is set to U.S. Eastern time. Therefore, all due dates are noted in EST.
In the Announcements area of the Blackboard classroom, I will post updates and comments here. You should check this area each time you log in.
In the Course Materials area, I will have everything arranged in folders by day, (as this is a 3-week intensive course). All materials for the course are posted and can be reviewed from the start of the class.
In the Assignments area, I provide full information about completing each assignment as well as deadlines.
The Discussion area contains discussion forums for most class readings or screenings. There is a forum labeled “Cyber Cafe” for casual conversations among yourselves, as well as a general “Ask the Professor” forum where questions about class requirements or other questions that do not fit into a weekly discussion may be asked.
For the final audio description script reflection papers, you will email them to me as MS Word attachments. See specific instructions on the assignments.
Contact with instructor: I will be logging on to the Blackboard site daily. If you need to email me privately, please put the course name in the subject line so I know it is from this class. For questions about the course, readings, media texts, etc., please post them in the Ask the Professor discussion forum, because if you have a question about something course-related, it’s guaranteed other students do, too.
Some General Policies:
ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT & PLAGIARISM:
This class will be governed by the CUNY’s general policies on intellectual property, academic misconduct, and plagiarism. If you have questions about how to properly cite material, please let me know.
ACCESSIBILITY, ACCOMMODATIONS, ABILITIES:
If you have specific accommodations you need as a person with a disability, please let me know as soon as possible so I can provide those. All students should let me know what I can do to maximize your learning potential, participation, and general access in this course. I am available to discuss this on the phone or on email. To make arrangements for accommodations, contact the CUNY Disability Studies program.
Grading criteria for written assignments and course in general:
90 – 100 (“A”). On the written assignments, this means the paper/post is clear, organized coherently, and well-written. It is an effective discussion of the topic. It has no spelling, grammar, format, or accuracy errors. In terms of the course, this means you have made every required post in a substantial way, have scores in this range on the assignments, and have good questions and discussion posts.
80 – 89 (”B”). On the written assignments, the paper/post is cohesive and well-organized, although it may have some minor spelling or grammatical errors. The discussion covers almost all of the important information and follows proper format. In terms of the course, this means you have made almost every required post in a substantial way, have scores in this range on the assignments, and have good questions and discussion posts.
70 – 79 (“C”). On the written assignments, the paper/post is disorganized and contains many minor errors. The discussion missed some pertinent information or does not follow proper format. In terms of the course, this means you have made fewer than required posts, have scores in this range on the assignments, and have not participated on the discussion boards.
60 – 69 (“D”). On the written assignments, the paper/post ineffectively discusses the topic; it is not coherent or understandable. It contains an unacceptable number of spelling, grammar errors and/or inaccurate information or does not follow proper format. In terms of the course, this means you have rarely posted anything, have scores in this range on the assignments, and have not participated in discussions at all.
Below 60 (“F”). The paper/post contains major factual error(s) related to the topic. The information presented is completely incorrect. The paper does not meet the requirements in word count, focus, or format. In terms of the course, this means you have not participated in posting anything, have scores in this range on the assignments, and have not participated in discussions at all. If you are caught cheating in any way, you will automatically receive an F in the course.
- Discussion posts: 30%
- Disability blog/social media analysis: 15%
- Disability news analysis: 15%
- Audio description project/script/reflection paper: 40%
Readings and assignment schedule
(Note: Reading and posting before deadlines is fine, even encouraged.)
|Class meeting Jan. 4: Introductions
|Class meeting Jan. 5: Models of representation & disability
Discussion due Jan. 7 by 11:59 p.m.
|Class meeting Jan. 6: Supercrips and inspiration
Discussion due Jan. 8 by 11:59 p.m.
|Class meeting Jan. 7: The power of media to frame disability & emerging media forms
Discussion due Jan. 11 by 11:59 p.m.
|Class meeting Jan. 8: Disability blogging/social media
Assignment: From the list provided, each student will select a disability blog and a disability Facebook page to analyze for a 500 to 750-word paper due by Jan. 14, 11:59 p.m. (Email me with your selection of a blog/social media by 11:59 p.m. Jan. 5. It is a first-come, first-served choice.) See the full description of the assignment on Blackboard.
Class meeting Jan. 11: Analyzing news about disability
Assignment: Each student will be assigned a news story on a disability topic to analyze for a 500-word paper. Paper and presentation on the course blog site due by 11:59 p.m. Jan. 18. (Email me with your selection of a news story from the list by 11:59 p.m. Jan. 5. It is a first-come, first-served choice.) See the full description of the assignment on Blackboard.
|Class meeting Jan. 12: Disability media
News analysis due this day.
Discussion due Jan. 14 by 11:59 p.m.
|Class meeting Jan. 13: Imagery
Discussion due Jan. 15 by 11:59 p.m.
|Class meeting Jan. 14: Advertising
Blog analysis due this day.
Discussion due Jan. 19 by 11:59 p.m.
|Class meeting Jan. 15: Entertainment TV and humor
Discussion due Jan. 20 by 11:59 p.m.
|Class meeting Jan. 19: Creating accessible media
Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center’s video description tutorials 1-7:
Video Description Guidelines: “How to Know What to Say” by Rick Boggs, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZlNVajYx9s
Examples of audio description:
Assignment: You must audio describe a 3-minute segment of a fictional movie or TV shows that is not already described. You will also write a 300+ word reflection paper on the experience, i.e. what you learned, challenges, new ways you think about accessible media, etc. Your reflection paper should mention at least 3 articles you read.
Post on the blog site as well as email me your audio description script by 11:59 p.m. Jan. 24. Send me your paper only by email. It is your choice whether you want to record your audio to sync with a video. If you don’t do the video option, send us the link to the video you described with its script.
We will have a discussion about the assignment on the last day of class, January 25.