In past decades and especially in today’s society, the media such as television, films, documentaries, etc. have impacted people’s perceptions, such as the way he/she views others. The media is a source of information that can influence a person to think one way or another; which can be both a positive and a negative at the same time. For example, the media can either debunk or enhance society’s stereotypes about various groups such as blind/visually impaired individuals.
With the huge presence of the media in mind, I decided to conduct some research on the amount of television shows that have depicted blind/visually impaired individuals and the messages that are being conveyed. Out of all the major networks such as, NBC, ABC, and CBS, I found that only one of these three networks portrayed blindness through a main character. The network that has depicted blindness on more than one occasion is ABC with 4 shows. Although NBC/CBS also had blind/visually impaired characters on some of their shows, the parts were guest roles and the storyline was not ongoing. In ABC’s General Hospital, One Life to Live, and Desperate House Wives, at least one of the main characters, who were once sighted, suddenly lost their eyesight. The duration of the blindness for these characters was a part of the storyline for months, but not a whole season. The blindness was lifted from these characters due to a surgery that restored their sight. The fact is that many blind/visually impaired individuals are unable to regain their eyesight; however, that does not mean hope has subsided. I still have hope of one day being able to see again.
In terms of ABC’s 4th show, Blind Justice was a sitcom solely based off a blind detective who again, was once sighted, but suddenly lost his eyesight. What sets this drama a part from the other shows, is that this one is based off of the blind character and the weekly storylines are about his experiences. In my opinion, the show had a lot of positive representations, but also gave way to some stereotypes that persist in today’s society. Blind Justice started running in the 2nd week in March of 2005 and was taken off the air in June of that same year. All in all, my findings found that ABC had the most shows with depictions of blind/visually impaired individuals. However, if you can think of anymore shows or want to add any comments, please do so!
This blog is about how the world is viewed by the visual and the visually impaired. The intent of this blog is to bring the two worlds together. It is administered by two fabulous sisters, Toni, who is sighted and Robin, who became visually impaired in 2002 at the age of 18 due to misdiagnosis.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Blindness in the Media...
Posted by Robin at 4/05/2009