PhD Candidate – Media Studies
Founder, Mobilize March
Canadians (Adults) With Disabilities
• 2x less likely to obtain university credentials.
• 2001 25% working-aged Canadian’s without disability had completed a university.
• 14% with disability had achieved the same.
• 2006 15-24 year olds:
o 51% with disabilities have not completed high school.
o 42% without disabilities have not completed high school.
• More likely to be unemployed.
• More likely to be at the bottom of the income scale.
• 25-54 year olds:
o With disability: 47% have personal income below $15,000.
o Without a disability: 25%.
• Congenital Muscular Dystrophy.
• Spokesperson for MDAC at 8 years old, poster child for 2 years.
• YTV telethon.
• Later nominated to the Easter Seals Ontario board of directors, eventually named
Vice Chair, sat on board for a total of six years.
• First public presentation at 3 years old.
• His parents never let him make excuses, taught him he needed to advocate himself.
• Beggar vs. barter, which story is true? Barter story is true origin of word
• Myths of disability in the press:
o The idiot/child
Disability as innocence/ignorance
Frail, weak, naïve
o The Supercrip
Extraordinary individuals with extraordinary abilities
Emphasis on “overcoming” disability
o The victim/villain
o Object of pity
o Twisted by limitation Webcomic
• Comics with disabled characters, but not necessary about disabilities.
• Telling their story, their way
o Characters: Rhett (only wears medical scrubs) , Griff/Griffin, Kate.
• A story with teeth
o Medical model of disability
• An opportunity for activism
o Minority of many
People saying they can’t afford to become wheelchair-friendly.
Types of Disability
• Sensory (blind or deaf)
o Ex: social anxiety disorder
o Upcoming, will be very big soon.
What is a barrier?
o Sandy beach
o Space behind desks
o Sign language
o Bliss boards
o Windows Vista cost $500 more if you’re deaf or blind
o iPhone is first consumer phone that reads things out and has voice control
o Rule that there can only be 15 accessible cabs in London, only two or three on
the road at once
o Perceptions and weird ideas about disabilities
What is the impact?
• 4.4 million C