Lisy's Thoughts on Disability in Film & TV

Jun 27

Sexiest Vegetarian Contest -

Well that’s unusual: A very visibly disabled person deemed one of the most sexy celebrities.

Now; if only PETA would drop the “but OMG you must go vegan because otherwise YOU MIGHT CATCH AUTISM!!11!” crap.

Jun 24

Superheroes with a difference -

As long-running American comic Archie announces the introduction of a new disabled character, Ouch look at how disability is portrayed in comics.

Jun 05

How TV Broke One of the Most Taboo and Uncomfortable Topics Back in the 80s -

TV sitcoms of the 1980s were often about teaching viewers a lesson. Sometimes subtly, usually overtly. Whether the message was moral or ethical in nature, the gist was one of acceptance: body image, race, sexuality, ability. And The Facts of Life, the longest-running sitcom of the decade, covered them all, breaking new TV ground for taboo and uncomfortable topics.

Like having cerebral palsy and cracking jokes about it.

May 25

ASAN Statement on Media Claims Linking Autism and Violence | Autistic Self Advocacy Network -

May 24

The actor with Down's syndrome tackling Dickens -

An actor with Down’s syndrome is to play the title role in BBC Radio 4’s new classic serial, Barnaby Rudge. Although his non-standard speech might be an extra challenge for the listener, the producer feels it shouldn’t happen any other way.

May 21

Could deaf dramas be TV hits? -

Foreign language TV dramas such as The Killing and Wallander have been surprise hits. As Britain warms to subtitles at the bottom of the screen, is it time for drama in sign language to shine?

May 04

Glee: Back-Up Plan.

As if Glee casting a disabled actor wasn’t surprising enough…

Glee casting a disabled actor to play just a regular part, not one of your usual bullshit tropes, is absolutely flabbergasting.

She was just one of the people from Fox auditioning actors for a TV pilot, no reference to her impairment made at all.

Apr 23

Switched at Birth: Memory Is Your Image Of Perfection

Given how well SAB covers most Deaf/disability issues; it’s disappointing that the first time they touched on mental health, it ended with a stabbing.

As I’m forever pointing out on this Tumblr: People with MH problems are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. I’ve posted the stats so many times that I can’t be bothered to fish them out this time; you’ll only have to scroll back a few posts.

Apr 21

Switched at Birth: Uprising

I’ve been making my way through SAB over the last week. I’m about 2 thirds of the way through season 2.

Last night I watched the all ASL episode entitled “Uprising”.

Disappointingly it had to start with Leclerc and Marano explaining “this episode is all in ASL. There’s nothing wrong with the sound on your TV.” A sad indictment of the arrogance of hearing people.

It was great. It was full of rebellious energy and left you feeling so enthused by the kids occupying their school.

But the direction was so disappointing in places: Specifically all the times the camera was behind the speaker so you couldn’t see their hands/lips, meaning you had to read the subtitles to know what was being said.

Yes, I know I can’t speak ASL. (I can’t even speak BSL.) But I can read lips.

I realise that part of the premise was for the viewer to spend a day walking a mile in the Deaf students’ shoes. And in reality sometimes people stand with their back to Deaf people so the person can’t see their lips to read them. Not being able to see what someone is saying is a big part of Deaf people’s experience of the world.

But the episode was mostly about celebrating Deaf culture, Deaf history (specifically the 1988 Gallaudet protest) and ASL, It’s a disappointing celebration of ASL when you can’t always see the ASL.

That choice of direction - to opt for camera angles blocking the view of the signing - really put a damper on what was otherwise a great piece of TV.

Apr 14

Ouch show 107: Mental vacuum -

I talk about Ironside and Glee in this for a few seconds.