In documents Make them separate documents Media Review    The purpose of this assignment is to reflect on how people with disabilities are portrayed in t

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In documents Make them separate documents Media Review


The purpose of this assignment is to reflect on how people with disabilities are portrayed in the media and accurately understand how media helps to shape public opinion concerning disability. I have provided a list of movies that you can use, or you may choose another movie that focuses on a person with a disabiity that we have learned about this semester.  You will need to locate a copy of most of these movies – either online or through a streaming service.  I have provided the link to “The Other Sister”.

The review should include the following elements:


1. 5-7 pages in length  exclusive of/ not including  the cover page, the abstract, and the reference page. All of these components must be included with your paper. (5 points)

2. a minimum of 3 references. (5 points)

3. double-spaced, 12 point Times font. Margins must not exceed 1.25”on the left and right, and 1.00” on the top and bottom. Headers .5” (5 points)

4. APA format. (5 points)


The writing requirements for the paper are listed below. Your paper should include all four sections and headings must be used.


1. Introduction: this section should introduce the media you are reviewing. In describing the media, please describe the person(s) or character(s) with disabilities. Give specific examples of how the person(s) or character(s) is/are portrayed. (20 points)


2. Characteristics: this section should discuss whether or not the media portrays the disability in a realistic way. Please elaborate on how the person/people are portrayed and support whether or not this is realistic using your references. Use your textbook for this section, paying particular attention to the behavioral and psychological characteristics discussed for the particular disability category. (20 points)


3. Handicapism/Misconceptions: in this section, please reflect on the misconceptions of people with disabilities portrayed in the media, and elaborate on how these media representations help to shape public opinion of people with disabilities. Remember these misconceptions can be positive or negative, for example, portraying people with intellectual disabilities as “angels” or as “completely childlike.” We know that this is not an accurate portrayal of all people with intellectual disabilities. How does this characterization help and hurt people with intellectual disabilities? You should be able to discuss a minimum of three (3) points in this section. (20 points)


4.  Personal Reflection: this section should be written in the first person. Please reflect on your depth of comprehension of issues. What are your personal thoughts and beliefs regarding people with disabilities? Are there any points brought up in the media you would like to address? Please address these issues completely and provide your personal reflection and opinion about the issues. (20 points)


Movie List


I Am Sam

This movie is about a man with Autism who lives with and takes care of his daughter. In your review of this movie, you want to really look at the competence and ability of someone with this disability to be the sole caretaker for his daughter. Is it realistic to expect a person with this disability to be able to meet the demands of caretaking?


Rain Man

This movie tells the story of Raymond, an adult with Autism, and his brother. In your review of this movie, pay attention to the characteristics highlighted in the movie. Do all people with Autism generally have all of the characteristics shown in the movie? Pay attention to the beliefs about Autism at the time. For example, there is a scene in the movie where the doctor is explaining Raymond’s condition to his brother. What do we now believe and know about people with Autism that is different from what is portrayed in the movie?



This movie tells the story of a child born with a condition that makes him age at four times the normal rate.  In your review of this movie, consider the implications of Jack’s medical condition on his ability to participate fully in school; did his health issues impact his academic success and, if so, how?  Think about the social challenges that Jack faced and how he was, or was not, supported at school.  Finally, consider the concept of self-determination as it applies to decision making for Jack.


Temple Grandin

This movie tells the life of Temple Grandin, one of the foremost authorities on Autism. She herself has Autism and has shared many, many insights into her world and work through her TED Talks, as well as her books and movie. In your review of this movie, how does Temple’s perception of her Autism differ from those of us who do not have this condition? What was her educational experience? What can we learn from someone like Temple Grandin?


The Other Sister    (This link will take you to an online copy of this movie)

This movie tells the story of Carla, a woman with intellectual disabilities, who is returning to her childhood home after graduating from her residential school. In your review of this movie, pay attention to the family dynamics and how different members of her family have different views of what is best for Carla. What level of functioning does Carla display? What are the expectations of her family and are these expectations realistic? Why or why not?


Edward Scissorhands

This movie tells the story of Edward, a boy with a physical disability. In your review of this movie, pay attention to the response of the community to this person. How does isolation effect self-esteem and development? What other disability do you think Edward might have (hint: learning disabilities) and why do you think this is? What is the impact of the social circle on this student?


What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

This movie tells the story of Gilbert and his family. In your review of this movie, you will be introduced to Gilbert’s younger brother who has intellectual disabilities. There are also other, important family dynamics to consider in your review of this movie. How do family interactions and dynamics impact family members’ ability to cope and take care of each other?


The Blind Side

This movie tells the story of a Black boy being adopted into a White family in the South. The boy most likely has learning disabilities. He also appears to have some deficits when it comes to social skills.  How can extracurricular activities act as a springboard to getting students with learning disabilities engaged in school?



This movie is about a boy named Radio who has developmental disabilities and most likely Autism.  In your review of this movie, pay attention to the role of the community in accepting Radio. How does Radio fit in to the community? What role does friendship play in Radio’s experience? How can teachers assist in facilitating friendships for students with disabilities? Why is this important?

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