Representation Of Disabilities In Media

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A new television program premiered on The Learning Channel this week. It’s called My Life as a Child. Every week, it highlights three separate stories about children living distinctly different lives across the United States. The premiere episode featured a piano genius, a boy living in the inner city, and a boy with a disability.

His name was Cole and he too was born with cerebral palsy. At only eight years old, this young man knows and understands the limitations of his disability. But he doesn’t let that stop him; he still participates in the number of physical activities such as karate. How is it possible? you may ask. A personal assistant sits behind him serving as a balance for him as he executes the moves requested. Unfortunately, his disability keeps him from doing the obvious leg movements.

Watching his interview, I was amazed at how openly honest he was about his disability. Although he has big dreams for the future, he admits the sadness he feels that he can’t walk. On the other hand, he realizes the blessings that other people have. For examples, Cole was asked how he feels when he sees his other friends running and playing. His reply? “It’s really sad that I can’t walk.” What about karate kicks? “Well, I feel pretty good. At least someone can do it.” I think the quote that inspired me the most is his outlook on doing things outside your comfort zone. His response: “Some kids with disabilities might be scared to try new things. But I would tell them, don’t be. Just relax and think about what you can do. And you’ll feel great, I promise..”

Where was I going with this? I guess I had two purposes in posting this. The first is the most obvious one-inspiration. It’s people like Cole that continue to shed a positive light on disability and strive to live at my title illustrates: A Life without Limits. The second purpose is that although I continue to be amazed at the number of disabled people on shows on the Learning Channel. I think that more networks should follow suit with programs like these. The only way people, disabled or nondisabled alike, are going to be able to bridge the gap is through understanding and learning in programs like these. Another example of a program that highlights a different type of disability is Little People, Big World

Thanks Cole for sharing your story with the world as well as being any inspiration to us all. By the way, at the end of the program, he received his yellow belt in karate. Congratulations.

On a personal note, I am going to take a break for a couple of days. I am thinking of updating this every other day, since dictating every day on another topic seems to be hard. I don’t know how many of you are checking daily for updates. But it’s getting difficult to think of new material and update on a daily basis-especially via voice. Feel free to to me with possible topics you would like to have discussed. I would love to hear from you and receive your input. . My e-mail is:

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