Faking diversity

Fake disabled children, from Blue (normally seen at The Gimp Parade):

A couple weeks ago the Wall Street Journal ran an article about how textbook publishers meet diversity quotas for the photos in their books. The article covers the lengths publishers go to in order to portray diversity in race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender and disability in textbook images so that their books will sell to diversity-sensitive school districts. But when it comes to portrayals of disabled people, nondisabled children are frequently placed in wheelchairs or given crutches to stand in for actual disabled models.



  1. Ziggi

    I’m not sure if that bothers me or not? I think I want it to but… I guess Madison Ave has made the unreal the expected. Almost nothing is real when it comes to media.

    The loving couple in the wine ad probably just met on the day of the shoot. The mom joyfully playing with the baby in the diaper commercial probably hates kids and can’t wait to dump the little brat. The magazine cowboy sitting on the horse back dropped by a red dessert sunset hasn’t been on a horse since his parents took him to the zoo 25 years ago.

    Nondisabled portraying disabled? Hell, that’s real enough these days.

  2. mdmhvonpa

    AROO?! Sheeseh, like it is hard to find disabled children. Ever hear of the Shriners?

  3. Angela

    I wouldn’t mind the “Fake disabled” if they cared enough to give them decent wheelchairs and crutches. I’m a teacher in a wheelchair, and I”m tired of seeing pictures in my textbooks of teen agers in wheelchairs fit for nursing homes. Let’s at least portray kids in wheelchairs as active as they really are!

  4. Katja

    That is exactly what bugs me! And for anyone who knows anything about it, a kid posed in depot chair is a sure tipoff that the model isn’t really disabled and is just a token stereotype.


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