In the course of our work on disabilty issues we observe that people with disabilities are often portrayed as stereotypes in the media. The media creates a reality through the stories it tells and the images it spreads. Journalists know this but unfortunately they nevertheless often use one dimensional visual language, catchwords and clichees. Phrases such as “bound to a wheelchair” or “suffers from”, create negative images in peoples’ minds, images that shape the public’s view of people with disabilities.
People with disabilities are often only portrayed as victims, sufferers or heroes. Other facets of their lives are relegated to the background and their lives are portrayed in ways which do not correspond to reality. Instead of informing in an unbiased manner, mainstream media often helps to spread a stereotypical image of disability: as a difficult fate that must be mastered. The stories of fulfilled, multifaceted lives that are lived with a disability are the ones that the project Leidmedien.de raises awareness for and helps media makers tell.
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