FOCUS AREA THREE
Who Gets Represented and How? (Part Two)
Deepening Your Understanding:
Let’s deepen our understanding of how disability is represented in the media and what kinds of experiences are left out. Check out the parody of the Superhumans! Trailer: Yes, I Can, If...
Please Note:The first 38 seconds of this video are not captioned. The person in the video is lip-syncing a song by Sammy Davis Jr. called Yes, I Can. See the transcript for the lyrics.
Will Pike, who created the Yes I Can … If parody, said in an interview, in the United Kingdom (much like here in Ontario) “it’s the responsibility of the individual disabled person whose got the problem with the establishment to raise a legal claim against that establishment.”
“I think it’s important to show that for a lot of people, every day can feel like a bit of an Olympic event. And we meet that challenge head-on, with gusto, but the whole ‘Yes I Can’ notion exists within a framework of ‘if.’ If I’m accommodated, if I’m allowed to have integrity, if I’m given the space and the dignity, being with my friends, all those things, then yeah, actually I can.” (Etienne, 2016).
Examining Point of View
For a personal response to the Paralympics trailer, please read Lucy Catchpole’s response: I love Channel 4’s Paralympics advert. But we can’t all be superhumansopen new window.
Image: Headshot of Lucy Catchpole
Checking Your Understanding:
While the Paralympics trailer has many positive aspects, it is not helpful to be one of the only representations of disability in broadcast media. In the textbox provided state some of the negative aspects of disability being portrayed in the video. When you are finished, you can press the "check" button to review the answer.
Please fill in the textarea.
- It can encourage frustration towards persons with disabilities for not overcoming obstacles simply by having a positive attitude.
- It tells only the story of elite athletes and musicians who have disabilities.
- It makes invisible all the real and systemic barriers that persons with disabilities face.