Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events
HOME

Disabilities Columnist Seeking to Break Stereotypes



If you're brand new here, you probably have been wondering what's going on.  Instead of disability-related issues, ax-grinding, or political agenda-driving, this newspaper column just features real people with disabilities and their lives.

I say "real" because the mainstream media, in general, have a tendency to portray most everyone with a disability they feature as victims, objects of pity or superheroes, as if having a disability was the worst thing anyone could have and therefore needed an emotional or Rocky Balboa-like story line.

The media portray people with disabilities as victims or objects of pity when they repeatedly say a person "suffers" from a disability or that another is "confined" to a wheelchair, for instance. "Suffer" and "confined" are almost always the reporter's words and not those of the person featured. As for the former, yes, some people do physically suffer, but many people with disabilities don't and many view their disability as an asset.

In 2008, I featured Olympian Bruce Jenner (he was Bruce back then), who said about his learning disability, "If I had been an average student or reader, I wouldn't have needed sports. As time went on, there was always this little dyslexic kid in the back of my head who would try to outwork the next guy. It was part of the process of the makeup of me. I believe I wouldn't have won gold in the Olympics if not for being dyslexic."

Also, do wheelchair users really feel "confined" to wheelchairs? Most don't. Their wheelchair offers mobility and freedom. In truth, most people using a wheelchair feel "confined" when their wheelchair isn't around.

In terms of superheroes, you often see reporters use words like "inspirational" or "courageous" to describe a person with a disability, yet many I know prefer being viewed as "regular" people and don't much like those adjectives.

I want my readers to acquire a realistic feel for different people with disabilities and ultimately that must involve breaking stereotypes. People with disabilities aren't a homogeneous group. The disability "community" has never been unified, but is politically conservative and liberal, rich and poor, old and young, married and not, Dallas Cowboys fans and not. People with disabilities aren't all alike.

It's these media-generated stereotypes that often build relational walls between people with disabilities and everyone else, which adds yet another needless layer of inaccessibility for a person with a disability to navigate. That's something we all don't need.

 


Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.

Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.

Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com



Placer County News Headlines

Chicago the TRIBUTE to play Opera House Saloon in Roseville(ROSEVILLE, CA) - Chicago the TRIBUTE, a 9-piece tribute to the band with the horns and hits will be playing the Opera House Saloon Roseville on Thursday, March 30

Roseville Criminal Activity Heats UpRoseville, CA- As the weather heats up, so does Roseville criminal activity. The Roseville police log digest update for the ten-day period covering March 10-20, 2017.

Free STD and STI Testing and Treatment in Roseville(Roseville, CA) - Sierra Pregnancy & Health (SPH) announced they have begun offering free testing and treatment for STD/STIs, including gonorrhea and chlamydia

Placer County Government Center ProposalAUBURN, Calif. -- After considerable analysis, stakeholder engagement, design and planning, the Placer County Board of Supervisors were presented a plan for a re-envisioned Placer County Government

Ghost in the Shell coming to IMAXGhost in the Shell: An IMAX 3D Experience opens at the Esquire IMAX Theatre on March 30 at 7:00 p.m

Auburn Art Walk begins April 7The Auburn Art Walk will take place on the first Friday of April, June, August and October 2017, from 6 pm to 9 pm

Achieve Tahoe to Host Ability Challenge Fundraiser at Squaw ValleyAlpine Meadows, CA - Achieve Tahoe, a leading provider of winter and summer adaptive sports instruction at all ability levels for adults and children with disabilities

Guys and Dolls at William Jessup University in AprilROCKLIN, CA. - William Jessup University's Creative Arts department presents Guys and Dolls for six weekend performances, starting April 7-8-9.

Prenatal Health Services to begin at Auburn Health CenterAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce that its Auburn Health Center will begin providing prenatal health services to patients starting this week.

Roseville Skatetown to Host Curling BonspielRoseville, CA -Brand New Barrel Bonspiel Brings 16 California Curling Teams to Roseville on March 24-26.

Placer Valley Tourism to operate Placer County FairgroundsAUBURN, Calif. -- The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved Placer Valley Tourism, a private nonprofit organization, as the new operator of the Placer County Fairgrounds

Roseville Gas Price Competition StiffensRoseville, CA - Competition has stiffened as Roseville gas prices were mostly flat during this past week.


more news