Understanding Disability Through Mass Media
5-7:40 p.m. Thursdays. Lectures will be synchronous online and Blackboard discussions will be asynchronous online.
Instructor: Prof. Beth Haller, Ph.D.
Web page: https://bethhaller.wordpress.com/
Office Hours: Online via Webex or Zoom. Feel free to send me an E-mail messages if you want to talk on the phone or via video chat.
Course Description: An overview of how mass media frames disability for the general public. This course focuses on issues related to disability and mass media representation, including journalism, TV, film, advertising, photography, documentary, comic art and the Internet. This is a combined course that includes students going into health professions, mass communication students, and AADS minors.
1. Examine and expand understanding of media impact on the historical, cultural, medical, and social issues related to disability;
2. Differentiate between the various disability models, as well as specific models of media representation of disability;
3. Introduction to disability media, i.e. content created by and for people with disabilities;
4. Compare and contrast the lived experiences of disabled people against mass mediated representations;
5. Look at news about disability rights in U.S. society, what is and isn’t covered;
6. Use various analysis techniques to research the prevalence and meaning of mediated disability representations.
Statement on political aspects of AADS 310/MCOM 310:
The goal of this course is to explore how the media represents the lived experiences of individuals with disabilities, as well as how disability issues are presented to the public. To this end, we highlight ableism – discrimination against citizens with disabilities — and the social model, which explains that society disables people with disabilities through its lack of access/social support, negative attitudes, and barriers to participation that nondisabled people enjoy. Students will learn about the possible sources or origins of this discrimination, as well as steps that might remedy disparities in education, healthcare, and community life. As part of the learning process, students are exposed to many viewpoints, including viewpoints that traditionally do not receive equivalent attention and may be unfamiliar. While drawing their own conclusions about disability and diversity issues, students are expected to approach the subject matter in a spirit of open inquiry and to demonstrate a willingness to examine disability and diversity issues through a social justice lens.
Nature of Course Content:
This course requires students to consider society’s views on disability, which are often negative and ableist. Students are asked to examine and discuss their own biases, assumptions, evolution in thinking, and experiences. This type of analysis and self-reflection can at times be uncomfortable or emotionally intense. Media content and discussion in the course will introduce students to a wide range of opinions and lifestyles, much of which you may never have considered. The rewards of this learning are many, in terms of academic knowledge, personal growth, and preparation for adult life in a pluralistic democracy – a democracy that includes citizens with disabilities. Students who have concerns about their readiness for exposure to course content should carefully consider their registration in the course. Students may contact Professor Haller with any questions at email@example.com.
The discussion board should be viewed as a course forum to discuss the readings, videos, and other course-related content. Your participation in the discussions counts as attendance in this synchronous online course. The tone of all posts should be respectful and professional in nature.
Treat the other students and your faculty member the same online as you would in person.
• Engage with others in a respectful manner.
• Keep in mind that written communication lacks the non-verbal cues we use to understand each other. It may be helpful to review what you write to ensure the message reads the same way you are intending it to.
It is not appropriate to post statements of a personal or political nature, or statements criticizing classmates or faculty. Inappropriate statements/language will be deleted by the course faculty.
Students in this online course are expected to observe common rules of netiquette (or Internet etiquette). Those rules include but are not limited to:
1. Proofread your message before you hit send.
2. ALL CAPITALS is the same as shouting your message, check your caps’ lock button.
3. Don’t flame—everyone is entitled to the right to speak their opinion. Respect the opinions of others.
4. Make meaningful replies. Don’t just agree—say why you agree! Or disagree, as the case may
be—just do so respectfully.
5. Follow the Towson Academic Integrity policies here: http://towson.edu/studentaffairs/policies/.
6. Know that students who do not follow basic netiquette rules may be suspended from
discussion board use.
Online Course: This course depends upon synchronous online meetings and you are expected to be “virtually” present for these just as if you were meeting in a regular classroom. You must have a working computer, microphone, webcam, and internet connection.
- In the event of technical difficulty for the student, email your professor immediately. Do your best to resolve the issue before class.
- In the event the instructor has technical difficulty: If the instructor disappears and doesn’t return in 3 minutes, please wait an additional ten minutes before logging off. The instructor will be trying to reestablish the connection and/or may be trying to reach an alternate internet connection. If the professor does not return within those 10-15 minutes, see Blackboard for instructions which will be posted as soon as possible. You are not expected to wait longer than 20 minutes.
- In the event of a snowstorm, hurricane, or any widespread loss of power and/or internet connections which disrupts many participants, alternate materials will be posted on Blackboard. Make sure to check as soon as you are able to connect to the internet.
- Use of a webcam is mandatory. Each student will be permitted 2 instances where technical difficulties or other issues are cited for lack of camera use.
- “Attentiveness.” It will be evident to the instructor if you are not at your computer and engaged with the class. Remember, you are expected to be present during live Zoom class meetings.
- Attendance. For this class, attendance will be taken based on Blackboard discussion participation, not Zoom lectures/class meetings. Zoom lectures will be recorded and posted on Blackboard if a student has to be absent from a live lecture or wants to listen to the lecture again.
Required/recommended Books and Course Materials:
- Rental or purchase of a disabled person’s memoir if you cannot get it free as an e-book or via curbside from a library.
- “When Billy Broke His Head and Other Tales of Wonder” documentary, $3 streaming online
- Other readings posted on Blackboard or available online
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING
Note: All papers should use the American Psychological Association (APA) style. For examples of types of APA references, visit http://www.apastyle.org/learn/index.aspx?tab=2
1. Discussion Posts are attendance (10%): This class is designed with a live online lecture with a PowerPoint and numerous discussions online. The discussion board should be viewed as a course forum to discuss the readings, videos, and other course-related content. Your participation in the discussions counts as attendance in this asynchronous part of the course. It is acceptable to expand on something you said in a discussion in your Reading Response papers.
The tone of all posts should be respectful and professional in nature. Treat the other students and your faculty member the same online as you would in person. • Engage with others in a respectful manner. • Keep in mind that written communication lacks the non-verbal cues we use to understand each other. It may be helpful to review what you write to ensure the message reads the same way you intend it.
2. Reading Responses: (20%) You are welcome to expand on something you said in a Blackboard discussion in your Reading Response papers. Reading responses allow you to engage with the assigned material and develop critical reading and writing skills. You will be asked to complete three responses (2½- 3 pages -750-1,000 words – double-spaced, 12 pt. font). Responses should address a key issue or theme developed in the readings from that section. I will distribute prompts, but you are encouraged to create your own topic. Exceptional responses will develop an interesting argument, put multiple readings in discussion with each other, and effectively integrate at least three quotes cited from at least three course materials; include a reference list of all sources, both readings and screenings used. Due dates are listed in the syllabus.
Rubric for reading responses:
|90 – 100
(“A” & “A-”)
|The paper represents a thoughtful reflection on disability and media. It is creative and substantive and demonstrates excellence in its discussion of the topic. The paper illustrates new ways of thinking about disability and the media and used 3 or more direct quotes from 3+ reading materials/screenings to support that content. APA reference list required.||The paper clearly demonstrates a deep understanding of disability and media content and relevance to Disability Studies.||The paper is interesting, compelling and well organized. It has no spelling or grammatical errors. The work displayed is interesting and varied, incorporating the required number of examples from course readings/screenings. Assignment checklist is followed and attached.|
|80 – 89
(“B+”,”B”, & “B-”)
|The paper demonstrates a thoughtful response; however, required examples from readings/screenings are missing or inaccurate. Personal reflections are not as compelling or interesting as they could be. Only 1-2 direct quotes from less than 3 readings/screenings are used.||The paper demonstrates a somewhat superficial connection between disability and the media.||The paper is well organized, but has minor errors in grammar, spelling, required format, or APA style. Assignment checklist is not followed.|
|70 – 79
(“C+” & “C”)
|The paper does not clearly demonstrate a connection between disability and the media or to Disability Studies. Personal reflections are missing or superficial. No direct quotes from readings/screenings are used.||The paper’s content is not relevant to the topic of disability and the media. Content is unclear or not well developed.||The paper is disorganized, has serious errors in grammar, spelling, APA style, or required format. It is not compelling to the reader and does not have required examples or references. Assignment checklist is not followed or attached.|
|60 – 69
(“D+” & “D”)
|The paper is off topic and not connected to disability and the media. No quotes or paraphrases from readings/screenings are used.||The paper uses no relevant course readings or screenings.||The paper meets few of the requirements for the assignment. Assignment checklist is not followed or attached.|
|Below 60 (“F”)*||Sections are missing, or issues of academic honesty or integrity are involved.|
3. Disability blog analysis PowerPoint/reaction statement: (20%)
Disability blogs for each student
Read all the articles from this special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly on Disability Blogging and incorporate at least 2 of them into your final PowerPoint. Also read Haller’s chapter 1 in Representing Disability in an Ableist World and incorporate its information into your PowerPoint.
DSQ Special Issue on Disability Blogging, http://dsq-sds.org/issue/view/1:
|· “Editor’s Introduction,” by Stephen Kuusisto· “Performance and digital communication,” by Scott Rains |
· “Blogging brings more of us to the table,” by The Goldfish
· “Wheelie Catholic,” by Ruth Harrigan
· “Get Around Guide,” by Darren Hillock
· “Making Connections: Linkages Through Disability Blogging,” by Kay Olson/ Blue
· “In Other Words: The radical nature of telling stories through blogging,” by Alicia “Kestrell” Verlager
· “A Dialog,” by Wheelchair Dancer
· “Wheelchair Princess,” by Emma Crees
· “Say it Ain’t So,” by Stephen Kuusisto
The final PowerPoint analysis should cover the following concepts/questions:
— Explain what model(s) or perspectives on disability the blog posts appear to operate under.
— What seems to be the bloggers’ perspectives toward disability, toward people with disabilities? How do you know?
— Be sure to support your argument with specific references to individual blog posts and the date of entries.
— Who are the sites’ intended audience? Who are they seeking to reach?
— Based on the blogger biography, what is his/her background and how does that seem to influence blog content?
— How do the blog posts you analyzed reflect the perspectives in the DSQ essays about disability blogging? (Include references to at least 2 DSQ articles about disability blogging)
Your PowerPoint should include a 10+ slide PowerPoint with screen grabs from each blog post discussed. The last slide should be a reference list of all the posts, DSQ articles and Haller chapter. (Cite each blog post separately.)
Reaction statement: Discuss the possible larger societal impact of the blog. What are your reactions and reflections on the blog? Put this in a 250+ word separate statement that will be posted with your Powerpoint.
4. Audio description script/discussion (15 percent)
Your audio description script should follow this example of a timed script: http://www.adlabproject.eu/Docs/adlab%20book/index.html#example-ad
1. Watch the Smith-Kettlewell video description tutorials 1-7:
2. Read at least 3 of these articles about audio description. You will need to incorporate 3 direct quotes from these articles in your 300-word discussion paper.
- 3PlayMedia, What is Audio Description? https://www.3playmedia.com/2017/02/16/what-is-audio-description/
- 3PlayMedia, The Ultimate Guide to Audio Description, https://www.3playmedia.com/resources/popular-topics/audio-description/
- 3PlayMedia, Audio description is required by law, https://www.3playmedia.com/2018/12/11/did-you-know-audio-description-is-required-by-law/
- McKinney, K. (2017). How do you watch peak TV if you are blind? Vanity Fair. http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/06/tv-visually-impaired-blind-audio-description
- Risk, D. Describing Description. http://www.dcmp.org/caai/nadh272.pdf
- Austin, A. Examining audio description. http://www.dcmp.org/caai/nadh276.pdf
- Snyder, J. The visual made verbal. http://www.audiodescribe.com/links/AD-The%20Visual%20Made%20Verbal.pdf
- Snyder, J. The fundamentals of audio description. http://www.audiodescribe.com/about/articles/fundamentals_of_ad.pdf
- DCMP’s description tip sheet: http://www.dcmp.org/ai/227/
- ACB audio description guidelines, http://www.acb.org/adp/guidelines.html
- Articles about audio description: http://www.dcmp.org/learning-center
- Video Description Guidelines: “How to Know What to Say” by Rick Boggs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZlNVajYx9s
3. Select your 3-minute clip of a fictional TV show or film from YouTube. Do not audio describe a movie trailer (too much going on). I recommend finding a scene in the middle of the TV show or film that has both action and dialogue. Remember you are writing this script so a blind person knows what is going on when there is no dialogue.
4. I highly recommend looking at multiple clips before you select the one you will describe. The best thing to do is listen to the clip with your eyes closed. That way you can judge if there is too much dialogue so no space for audio description or too little dialogue so you have to describe everything. Here are the two audio described clips we watched in class to remind you of about no dialogue audio description:
- Frozen – Trailer with Audio Description, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7j4_aP8dWA&feature=youtu.be
- The Hunger Games with audio description: Katniss hunting, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8BD9txkGL4&feature=youtu.be
5. You will need to play your 3-minute clip over and over to figure out where there is no dialogue so you can describe what is happening between the dialogue. You will also need to write down the dialogue for your script as well.
6. Write your audio description (AD) script with the times each dialogue and AD happens. For example, if you only have 3 seconds between dialogue, there is no time to audio describe but if there is 10 seconds, you have time to describe something important in the scene.
7. Write your 300-word discussion/reaction paper with 3 direct quotes from the readings. Mostly this will be your reaction to this assignment. Audio description is an important access tool for people who are blind or visually impaired, who want to enjoy TV and films just like everyone else. Discuss what you learned, the challenge of creating the script, new ways you may think about accessible media now, etc.
Do you need another example of audio description to get you started? Here’s an audio-described scene from the original “Lion King:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT5AsjzgIC4
(Note: Please let me know if you have a visual impairment that prevents you from doing this assignment. You will be assigned a captioning assignment instead.)
5. Lived Disability Experience vs. the Media Paper (35%)
- You will read one of the memoirs of a disabled person listed below and write a paper that compares and contrasts the person’s actual experience with that disability versus the representation of that disability in the news and entertainment media.
- Using the memoir as a foundational text, you will be expected to find at least 9 additional sources to inform the paper. These include: scholarly disability studies essays from Disability Studies Quarterly; materials from an activist disability blog or alternative disability media source; popular cultural representations; and news stories about a related disability topic (You may use up to 5 readings from the course readings).
- This paper will have 10 sources total in an APA-style reference list at the end of the paper.
- Drawing upon all these readings, you should develop a coherent analysis of the media presentation of disability, as it does or does not reflect a person’s lived experience with a disability as discussed in the memoir.
- This 1,000-1,200 word paper should use the memoir as a lens from which to compare and contrast popular cultural representations of disability in news, TV, film, etc.
- Attendance in Discussion Forums: 10%
- Reading Responses: 20%
- Audio description assignment: 15%
- Disability blogging PowerPoint/small group discussion: 20%
- Disability Experience vs. the Media Paper: 35%
Grading criteria for written assignments and course in general: (Whenever written assignments are given, I expect you all to produce the best written work of which you are capable.)
90 – 100 (“A” & “A-“) On the written assignments, this means the paper 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 almost perfect attendance, scores in this range on assignments, and have good questions and discussion in class.
80 – 89 (“B+”, “B” & “B-“) On the written assignments, the paper 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 good attendance, scores in this range on assignments, and have good questions and discussion in class.
70 – 79 (“C+” & “C”) On the written assignments, the paper 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 poor attendance, scored in this range on assignments, and have not participated in class discussions.
60 – 69 (“D”) On the written assignments, the paper 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 missed more classes than you have attended, scored in this range on assignments, and have not participated in class discussions.
Below 60 (“F”)* The paper contains major factual error(s) related to the topic. The information presented is completely incorrect. The paper does not meet the requirements in page length, focus, or format. In terms of the course, this means you have missed more classes than you have attended, scored in this range on assignments, and have not participated in class discussions. If you are caught cheating in any way, you will automatically receive an F in the course.
(“FX”)* This is an administrative failure for non-attendance or failure to withdraw. If you do not withdraw from the course by Towson’s preset deadlines for the semester and stop attending the class, this is the grade you will receive.
(“I”) Incomplete. At Towson University, students may only receive an Incomplete with “verifiable circumstances” and “where students have completed most of the term” (Towson University Undergraduate Catalog). I recommend a medical withdrawal over an incomplete.
* If you receive an F or FX, you may only repeat the course once. After repeating the course, students will only receive credit for the course once and the highest of the grades will be calculated. The lower grade will remain on the transcript with an “R” before it to indicate the course was repeated. For the transcript to reflect the repeated course, students MUST submit a Repeated Course Form to the Records Office. Transcript adjustments are NOT automatic (Towson University Undergraduate Catalog).
Guidelines for all assignments
* No late papers will be accepted after the last day of the semester’s classes.
* Any late papers will lose points for each day they are late.
* Do not plagiarize, fabricate, or submit work you have done for another class. Cite all sources in your paper correctly. If you cut and paste material from the Internet without quote marks or a citation, that is plagiarism. If you paraphrase another’s material, make sure to properly cite the source.
I do not tolerate plagiarism or fabrication of any kind. You should adhere to the University’s policy on cheating and plagiarism. If you are caught breaking this policy, you will be prosecuted to the full extent that the policy allows. You should adhere to the highest possible standards of ethical behavior for this class.
- All assignments must be created in the form requested and should contain your name, the date, and the assignment topic in the upper left-hand corner.
- Follow the rubrics for each assignment carefully.
- Proofread and correctly edit your papers!
|Reading Response 1 on Modules 1-3 (750-1,000 words)||Feb. 18|
|Reading Response 2 on Modules 4-6 (750-1,000 words)||March 11|
|Disability Blog Analysis Powerpoint & reaction paper||March 25|
|Audio description script for 3-minute clip from an entertainment TV or film video/reflection paper||April 9|
|Reading Response 3 on Modules 7, 9, 11-12 (750-1,000 words)||April 29|
|Disability memoir/lived experience/media paper (1,000-1,200 words)||May 13|
Readings and assignment schedule
(Note 2: If there is no link for a reading, it will be posted on Blackboard.)
MODULE 1 – January 28 lecture: Models of representation & disability/ableism
Last day of add/drops is February 2
- Ableism definition from ABC-CLIO Companion to the Disability Rights Movement. (pdf on Blackboard).
- Haller, B. News media models of disability representation, https://mediadisability.wordpress.com/news-media-models/
- Models of disability, https://www.disabled-world.com/definitions/disability-models.php
- Anna. (2010, Nov. 19). What is ableism? Five things about ableism you should know. Disabled Feminists blog. http://disabledfeminists.com/2010/11/19/what-is-ableism-five-things-about-ableism-you-should-know/
- Cohen-Rottenberg, R. (2014). Thoughts of ableist language and why it matters. The body is not an apology blog. http://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/on-ableist-language/
- Busch, A. (2016). Actors With Disabilities Speak Up: “Just Give Us A Chance.” Deadline https://deadline.com/2016/11/actors-with-disabilities-speak-up-marlee-matlin-disability-inclusion-roundtable-ruderman-foundation-1201846632/
- Andrews, T. M. (2019, January 25). Disabled actors say they’re the ‘last civil rights movement’ in Hollywood. Hardly anyone’s discussing it. The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/disabled-actors-say-theyre-the-last-civil-rights-movement-in-hollywood-hardly-anyones-discussing-it/2019/01/24/cbde57a2-1817-11e9-9ebf-c5fed1b7a081_story.html?fbclid=IwAR3GJztgIfXsP0Qba7YpdQbgZ2gzwAgqYQYqo5efJ3rhBN2l5R4f5pAec_0&utm_term=.4d15663e85bd
Discussions on Blackboard:
- Introduce yourself to the class
- A brief history of disability rights in the USA
- What does ableism mean to you
- Actors with disabilities confront ableism
- “Code of the Freaks”
MODULE 2 – February 4 lectures: Supercrips, inspiration & the Paralympics
Readings for Supercrips and inspiration:
- Annaham. (2009). The Transcontinental Disability Choir: Disability Archetypes: Supercrip. Bitch magazine. https://www.bitchmedia.org/post/the-transcontinental-disability-choir-disability-archetypes-supercrip
- Eagleson, H. (2014, Nov. 11). Hollywood’s ‘inspiration porn’ is terrible but here’s how we can fix it. TakePart. http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/11/21/hollywoods-inspiration-porn-heres-how-we-can-fix-it
- Haller, B., (2000, Jan./Feb.). False positive: The Supercrip image kicks real issues off the media radar screen, The Ragged Edge. http://www.ragged-edge-mag.com/0100/c0100media.htm
- Ladau, E. (2019, August 1). Beyond Inspiration. The New Narrative. New Mobility http://www.newmobility.com/2019/08/beyond-inspiration-a-new-narrative
- Smith, S. E. (2020, March 1). People with disabilities aren’t your inspiration porn. The Daily Dot. https://www.dailydot.com/via/jamie-brewer-down-syndrome-inspirational/
- Young, S. (2012, July 2). We’re not here for your inspiration. ABC Ramp Up. http://www.abc.net.au/rampup/articles/2012/07/02/3537035.htm.
Readings for the Paralympics:
- Affleck, J. (2016, Sept. 15). Why do the Paralympics get so little media attention in the United States? The Conversation. http://theconversation.com/why-do-the-paralympics-get-so-little-media-attention-in-the-united-states-65205
- Craven, P. (2018). The Paralympics and the Promotion of Rights of Persons with Disabilities. UN Chronicle. https://www.un.org/en/chronicle/article/paralympic-games-and-promotion-rights-persons-disabilities
- Perry, D. (2016, Sept. 13). Why playing sports while disabled is a radical act. Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/sports/paralympics-games-sports-as-a-radical-act-w439261
- National Wheelchair Basketball Association. (n.d.). History of wheelchair basketball and NWBA. NWBA website. https://www.nwba.org/history.
Discussions on Blackboard:
- Inspiration porn
- Supercrips in the media
- Paralympics history and competition
- Media representation of the Paralympics
- Promotion of disability sports
- Profile of Paralympics archer Matt Stutzman
MODULE 3 – February 11 lecture: The power of online media to frame physical disabilities & hidden disabilities/chronic illnesses
- Haller, B. (2010). Chapter 1. The changing landscape of disability “news”: Blogging and social media lead to more diverse sources of information.
- Dobbs, J. (2009, September). Why does Facebook matter? New Mobility. http://www.newmobility.com/2009/08/why-does-facebook-matter/.
- Krotoski, A. (2011, March 5). What effect has the internet had on disability? The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/06/untangling-web-aleks-krotoski-disability
- Harris, S. J. (2014, August 13). Despicable memes. How “miracle” jokes and inspiration porn demean disabled people. Slate. https://slate.com/technology/2014/08/miracle-memes-and-inspiration-porn-internet-viral-images-demean-disabled-people.html
- Wyant, P. (2018, Jan. 19). If you have ever been told you don’t look sick, these 14 memes are for you. The Mighty. https://themighty.com/2018/01/invisible-illness-memes/
- Harrison, P. (2017, Oct. 25). Thousands show their invisible disabilities on Twitter. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/disability-41733769
- Hess, A. (2016 The social media cure. How people with chronic illnesses use memes, selfies, emojis to soothe their suffering. Slate. https://slate.com/technology/2016/03/how-spoonies-people-with-chronic-illnesses-use-memes-selfies-and-emojis-to-soothe-their-suffering.html
Discussions on Blackboard:
- Empowerment through new media forms
- Despicable memes
- Society’s reaction to invisible disabilities
- “Guest Room” short film
MODULE 4 – February 18 lecture: Representations of autism/neurodiversity
Reading Response 1 about Modules 1-3 Due (You should have completed all your discussion posts for Modules 1-3 by today. Discussions from Modules 1-3 will no longer be available for posting after February 25.)
You should select your memoir for the final paper by today; (Email me your choice and I will update the list.)
- Bradley, S. (2017, Oct. 25). TV is obsessed with an unrealistic portrayal of autistic people. Vice. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/j5j8zb/tv-is-obsessed-with-unrealistic-portrayal-of-autistic-people
- Ne’eman, A. (2010). The Future (and the Past) of Autism Advocacy, Or Why the ASA’s Magazine, The Advocate, Wouldn’t Publish This Piece, DSQ, http://www.dsq-sds.org/article/view/1059/1244.
- Rowe, M. (2017, August 8). Netflix’s “Atypical” was a major disappointment for autism representation. Teen Vogue. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/netflix-atypical-autism-representation
- Solomon, A. (2008, May 25). The Autism Rights Movement, New York magazine, http://nymag.com/news/features/47225/.
Discussions on Blackboard:
- “No Pity” documentary
- Carly’s autistic experience
- Nothing about us, without us
- The forgotten history of autism
- Autism representation in the media
MODULE 5 – February 25 lecture: Analyzing news about disability
- Girma, H. (2016, Oct. 12). Producing positive disability stories: A brief guide. https://habengirma.com/2016/10/12/producing-positive-disability-stories-a-brief-guide/
- Haller, B. (2016, Jan. 7). Journalists should learn to carefully traverse a variety of disability terminology. NCDJ website. http://ncdj.org/2016/01/journalists-should-learn-to-carefully-traverse-a-variety-of-disability-terminology/
- NY Times stylebook & Associated Press stylebook disability entries (pdf’s on Blackboard).
- National Center on Disability and Journalism Center style guide, http://ncdj.org/style-guide/
- Kapitan, A. (2017). On “person-first language:” It’s time to actually put the person first. Radical Copy Editor. https://radicalcopyeditor.com/2017/07/03/person-centered-language/
- Ravishankar, R.A. (2020, December 15). Why you need to stop using these words and phrases. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2020/12/why-you-need-to-stop-using-these-words-and-phrases
Discussions on Blackboard:
- “The Men of Atalissa”
- “When Billy Broke His Head and Other Tales of Wonder” – You can watch it for free if you have Amazon Prime and use a free subscription to Fandor, or you can rent it here for $3: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wbbhh
MODULE 6 – March 4 lecture: Authentic media vs. disability mimicry
- Easterseals Southern California. (2019, Nov. 15). The Black List Partners with the Media Access Awards, Easterseals and the WGA Writers With Disabilities Committee to Introduce the Disability List. [Press release] https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/11/15/1948106/0/en/The-Black-List-Partners-With-the-Media-Access-Awards-Easterseals-and-the-WGA-Writers-With-Disabilities-Committee-to-Introduce-the-Disability-List.html
- Evans, D. (2017). Please stop comparing disability mimicry to blackface. Dominick Evans website. https://www.dominickevans.com/2017/07/please-stop-comparing-cripping-up-to-blackface/
- Lee, T. (2019, Feb. 27). Black Hollywood: The struggle to include disability. https://www.respectability.org/2019/02/black-hollywood-the-struggle-to-include-disability/
- Mazzeo, E. (2015). Not a costume: Disability and authenticity in media. https://disabilityinmedia.wordpress.com/
- Moyer, J.W. (2015, February 23). Welcome, Eddie Redmayne: Since ‘Rain Man,’ majority of Best Actor Oscar winners played sick or disabled. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/02/23/since-rain-man-majority-of-best-actor-winners-played-sick-or-disabled/?utm_term=.b337689d09a5
- Ryan, F. (2015, January 13). We wouldn’t accept actors blacking up, so why applaud cripping up? The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/13/eddie-redmayne-golden-globe-stephen-hawking-disabled-actors-characters
Discussions on Blackboard:
- The problem with disability mimicry
- New Mobility magazine
- “My Gimpy Life” web series
MODULE 7 – March 11 lecture: Imagery
Reading Response 2 for Modules 4-6 due (You should have completed all your discussion posts for Modules 4-6 by today. Discussions from Modules 4-6 will no longer be available for posting after March 18.)
- Hawkins, K. (2014, June 24). With great power comes great disability. BBC Ouch website. http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-ouch-27883836
- LeBrecht, J. (2018, January 8). A Place at the Table: Doc Filmmakers with Disabilities on Building Careers and Disproving Stereotypes. Documentary. https://www.documentary.org/feature/place-table-doc-filmmakers-disabilities-building-careers-and-disproving-stereotypes
- Ng, C. (2013). Huge Demographic Virtually Invisible in Media Wants to be Seen. ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/disabled-community-media-marketing/story?id=19143489.
- Potuck, M. (2018, Nov. 28). Instagram launches automatic alternative text to make platform more accessible to those with visual impairments. 9TO5 Mac. https://9to5mac.com/2018/11/28/accessibility-instagram-alternative-text/
- Robertson, D. (2017, July 1). Hip Hop and Disability: An interview with Leroy Moore Jr. Black Perspectives. https://www.aaihs.org/hip-hop-and-disability-an-interview-with-leroy-moore-jr/
- Rose, B. (2020, July 23). Rap duo 4 Wheel City and the Krip-Hop career they never expected. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/disability-53070196?fbclid=IwAR3xzpOaMGv_wDMH3MCZM_8ilAoIeR3DZ7rPyC42DXsBvUBQzukcmNcDHHI
- Vila, V. (2016, Jan. 12). Down syndrome on TV: Conversations about Born This Way. Thoroughly Modern Messy blog, https://modernmessy.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/born-this-way/
Discussions on Blackboard:
- Stock photos of people with disabilities
- Hip Hop and documentaries
- “My Dad Matthew” short film
- “Born This Way” reality show
SPRING BREAK: March 14-21
MODULE 8 – Disability Blogs – March 25: Individual disability blog Powerpoint/reaction statement are due.
MODULE 9 – April 1 lecture: Advertising
Note: April 5 is the last day to withdraw from the full semester with a W.
- Ladau, E. (2013). Just one of the guys – A critique of the Guinness wheelchair basketball commercial. Words I Wheel By blog. http://wordsiwheelby.com/2013/09/just-one-of-the-guys/ Guinness ad Ladau discusses:
- Loebner, J. (2016). We can change attitudes with disability in advertising. https://advertisinganddisability.com/2016/02/18/we-can-change-attitudes-with-disability-in-advertising/
- Loebner, J. (2011). Liberty Mutual’s responsibility revolution. http://advertisinganddisability.com/2011/11/17/liberty-mutuals-responsibility-revolution/
- Neff, J. (2014). Advocacy group: Ad research overlooks disabled. Advertising Age. http://adage.com/article/news/advocacy-group-ad-research-overlooks-disabled/292041/
- Ng, C. (2013). Huge Demographic Virtually Invisible in Media Wants to be Seen. ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/disabled-community-media-marketing/story?id=19143489.
Discussions on Blackboard:
- Ads featuring physically disabled people
- Guinness wheelchair basketball ad
- Deaf people in ads
- Emily’s OZ
- Milk-Bone service dog partnership
- Audio-described ads
MODULE 10 – April 8 Guest Speaker: Creating accessible media
Audio description script/paper due April 9
Discussion of audio description assignment with Donna Mack via Zoom, who is a blind Texan who consults on website accessibility and is an active audio description user. Her website: https://disabilitydiplomat.com/
MODULE 11 – April 15 lecture: Entertainment TV and humor
- Berman, E. (2019, April 13). Ryan O’Connell came out of the disability closet. Now, he’s changing the conversation. Time. https://time.com/5562895/ryan-oconnell-special-disability-representation/
- Carter-Long, L. (2016, Oct. 3). How ABC’s Speechless is changing attitudes toward disability. Upworthy, https://www.upworthy.com/how-abcs-speechless-is-changing-attitudes-about-disability
- LeBesco, K. “There’s Something About Disabled People: The Contradictions of Freakery in the Films of the Farrelly Brothers,” DSQ, Fall 2004, http://www.dsq-sds.org/article/view/895/1070
- Reid-Hresko, J. & Reid, K. (2005, Fall). Deconstructing Disability: Three Episodes of South Park. DSQ. http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/628/805
- Shannon, J. (2005, Nov.) Krazy Kripples: South Park and disability. New Mobility. http://www.newmobility.com/2005/11/krazy-kripples-south-park-disability/
- Kliegman, J. (2015, Dec. 18). 2015: The year mental illness finally got some respect on TV, Vulture.com, http://www.vulture.com/2015/12/mental-illness-got-some-respect-on-tv-in-2015.html
- GLAAD. (2019). Where we are on TV. Representation of people with disabilities, pp. 24-5 https://www.glaad.org/sites/default/files/GLAAD%20WHERE%20WE%20ARE%20ON%20TV%202019%202020.pdf
Discussions on Blackboard:
- Josh Blue comedy (2006 winner of Last Comic Standing)
- Lost Voice Guy comedy
MODULE 12 – April 22 lecture: Video games (access & representation)
- Wilds, S. (2020, Jan. 25). For all the players: A history of accessibility in video games. LAD Bible. https://www.ladbible.com/technology/gaming-for-all-the-players-a-history-of-accessibility-in-video-games-20200124
- Ruder, I. (2014, May). Accessible gaming: Evolution of equality. New Mobility. http://www.newmobility.com/2014/05/accessible-gaming/
- Hoare, P. (2017). The Disabled Gamer’s Manual. http://disabilityhorizons.com/2017/10/the-disabled-gamers-manual/
- Hassan, A. (2018, Nov. 18). These technologies are improving video-game accessibility for the blind. https://qz.com/quartzy/1467802/video-game-technology-improving-accessibility-for-the-blind/
- Microsoft Xbox promotional info: https://news.microsoft.com/stories/xbox-adaptive-controller/
- Carlson, T. (2014, May 2). 6 Unforgettable Disabled Video Game Characters. New Mobility. http://www.newmobility.com/2014/05/6-unforgettable-disabled-video-game-characters/
- Greebaum, A. (2017, February 14). Disabilities in video games are more realistic than you think. Games Presso. https://www.gamespresso.com/2017/02/disabilities-video-games-realistic-think/
- McMillen, A. (2017, July 12). The sleeper autistic hero transforming video games. Wired. https://www.wired.com/story/the-sleeper-autistic-hero-transforming-video-games/
Discussions on Blackboard:
- Video game access
- Microsoft’s Xbox adaptive controller
- Disabled characters in video games
April 29: Reading Response 3 for modules 7, 9, 11-12 due
(Discussions from Modules 7, 9, 11-12 will no longer be available for posting after May 6.)
May 13: Final papers due
Academic Integrity Policy
All student work including assignments, presentations, and tests must adhere to the university’s Student Academic Integrity Policy http://towson.edu/studentaffairs/policies/. The policy addresses such academic integrity issues as plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, cheating, complicity in dishonesty, abuse of academic materials, and multiple submissions. See the last page of this syllabus for the department’s policy concerning plagiarism and cheating. Penalties to violation of academic integrity ranges from F for the assignment to F for the course, in addition to a report filed in the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education.
In all assignments, students must comply with all laws and the legal rights of others (e.g. copyright, obscenity, privacy and defamation) and with all Towson University policies (e.g. academic dishonesty). Towson University is not liable or responsible for the content of any student assignments, regardless of where they are posted.
Students with Disabilities Policy
This course is in compliance with Towson University policies for students with disabilities as described at https://www.towson.edu/accessibility-disability-services/.
If you are a student with a disability and believe you may need accommodations for this course, please notify me with an emailed memo from Accessibility and Disability Support Services (ADS). Since accommodations are not retroactive, it is strongly recommended that you provide me with notification as early as possible in the term. To register with ADS, or if you have questions about disability accommodations, contact Disability Support Services at 410-704-2638.
Students who suspect that they have a disability but do not have documentation are encouraged to contact ADS for advice on how to obtain appropriate evaluation. A memo from ADS authorizing your accommodation is needed before any accommodation can be made: https://www.towson.edu/provost/academicresources/documents/syllabus_guidelines_best_practices_4-18-16upload.pdf
Veterans Support and Services
For all student veterans (regardless of discharge status or last time of service), Towson University is committed to providing services and support through the Military & Veterans Center (MVC). The MVC can assist with educational benefits claims, military-related matters (call-ups for deployment, residency issues), veteran issues (VA healthcare and mental healthcare support), and other unique needs that might arise. The MVC can be found in the Psychology Building, Room 107. More information can be found at towson.edu/veterans, by calling (410) 704-2992, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
My lectures and course materials, including, but not limited to recorded content, Powerpoint presentations, outlines, and similar materials, are protected by copyright. I am the exclusive owner of copyright for those materials. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own use; however, you may not, nor may you allow others to, reproduce or distribute lecture notes and course materials publicly whether or not a fee is charged without my express written consent. Similarly, you own the copyright of your original papers and exam essays. I cannot post or use your papers without your written permission.
HALLER CLASSROOM POLICIES
Earning a college degree is an endeavor that is preparing you for a future in a professional workplace. I expect you to display those qualities of professionalism in my course. Here are some policies and behaviors that I require you to follow:
- In all online interactions, you will show respect to your fellow classmates and your professor. You will not belittle others’ ideas in the discussion forums.
- Any UMS-recognized religious holiday is an excused absence, and the live lectures/discussion board posts missed can be made up. However, please inform your professor that you will be delaying work because of a religious holiday.
- It is your responsibility to make up any missed online work.
- You, not the professor, are responsible for your grade. If you do not complete an assignment, you will receive a zero.
- Never lie, cheat, plagiarize, or fabricate. A mature person asks for help, rather than taking these unethical “shortcuts.” If your professor cannot give you the help you need, then she will refer you to the numerous on-campus resources, such as tutoring services or the Writing Center. If the class is still too difficult for you, become self-aware enough to understand when or if you should drop or withdraw from the class. There is no shame in withdrawing from a class and taking it another semester.
- Respect yourself enough to try your best, and the professor will respect you, too.
College of Fine Arts and Communication
Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies
Towson, MD 21252
M E M O R A N D U M
TO: All Students in the Department Of Mass Communication and Communication Studies
FROM: Department Faculty
SUBJECT: PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING
The Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies adheres to the following policy regarding plagiarism:
- Any words or images taken directly from another source (including the Internet) must be footnoted or cited and in quotation marks. Similarly, in oral presentations, attributions must be clear.
- Any ideas derived from a source not in the public domain or of general knowledge must be clearly attributed.
- Any paraphrased material must be footnoted or cited. In oral presentations, attributions must be clear.
- All papers and presentations must be the student’s own work. Submission of papers or presentations authored by others, even with their consent, constitutes plagiarism.
Any student found plagiarizing in any of the above ways will receive an automatic “F” for the assignment and may receive an “F” for the course. Documented evidence of the plagiarism will be kept in the department office, and will be reported to the Office of Judicial Affairs.
Any student discovered soliciting others to write a paper, speech, test, or other assignment for that student will receive an automatic “F” for the course.
There are ambiguities in concepts of plagiarism. Faculty will be available for consultation regarding any confusion a student may have.
Most students are careful to avoid blatant plagiarism, the unacknowledged copying of exact words of the source. However, students must also be aware that the concept of plagiarism extends not only to wording but to patterns or sequences of ideas. If you paraphrase without acknowledgement, using the same sequence or structure as the original author, then you are plagiarizing.
Students have the right to appeal a charge of plagiarism. An appeal starts with the chairperson of the department.
The Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies has adopted the following policy regarding cheating:
ANY STUDENT CAUGHT CHEATING ON ANY QUIZ OR EXAM WILL RECEIVE A MINIMUM OF AN “F” ON THE QUIZ OR TEST AND A MAXIMUM OF AN “F” FOR THE COURSE.