Disability media studies articulates the formation of a new field of study, based in the rich traditions of media, cultural, and disability. Television, film, current periodicals, and other mass media are a part of our everyday lives. Attitudes regarding a variety of issues can be affected by these media, not the least of which are attitudes toward disability. Media is a significant part of contemporary society and culture and is subsequently crucial to our understanding of disability. The representation of disability in the media in the last ten years is pretty much the same as it has always been: clichéd, stereotyped, and archetypal. Media representation of and for the disabled has been recharged in recent years with the expansion of new media worldwide. Interactive digital communications [such as the Internet, new varieties of voice and text telephones, social media, and digital broadcasting] have created a need to explore the constructs of media and the media relationship with disability. To explore this topic, we asked the same questions posed by scholars, how exactly does the media interact with disability and vice versa? Does the media adequately reflect the lives of people with disabilities?


Amputation, Paralympics, CTE, Social Media, Vison Impairment, Cyberbullying, Representation,


  1. E. Ellcessor, B. Kirkpatrick, (2017) Disability media studies, New York University Press, New York.
  2. T. R. Elliott, E. K. Byrd, (1982) Media and disability, Rehabilitation literature, 43 (11-12) 348-355.
  3. K. Ellis, G. Goggin, Disability Media Participation: Opportunities, Obstacles and Politics, Media International Australia, 154 (1) (2015).
  4. P. Darke, The Changing Face of Representation of Disability in Media, Disabling Barriers-Enabling environments, 12 (2004) 100-105.
  5. G. Goggin, G. Newell, C. Newell, (2003) Digital Disability: The Social Construction of Disability in New Media, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  6. L. Rees, P. Robinson, N. Shields, Media portrayal of elite athletes with disability - a systematic review, Disability and Rehabilitation, 41 (4) (2019) 374–381.
  7. O. Kolotouchkina, C. Llorente-Barroso, M. L. García-Guardia, J. Pavón, Disability, Sport, and Television: Media Visibility and Representation of Paralympic Games in News Programs, Sustainability, 13 (1) (2021) 256.
  8. F. R. Mitchell, S. Santarossa, I. L. Ramawickrama, E. F. Rankin, J. A. Yaciuk, E. R. McMahon, P. M. van Wyk, An evaluation of social media images portrayal of disability discourse: #amputeefitness, European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity, 12 (2) (2019) 1–15.
  9. P. Jackson, C. G. Pennington, Kickball for Students with an Amputation, Curriculum and Teaching Methodology, 4 (2021) 50–54.
  10. C. Kelly, C. G. Pennington, Lower-Limb Amputees in Olympic Weightlifting, International Journal of Physical Education, Fitness and Sports, 10 (2) (2021) 64–68.
  11. C. G. Pennington, J. Costine, M. Dunbar, R. Jennings, (2021) Deafness and Hard of Hearing: Adapting Sport and Physical Activity, 9th International Conference on Sport Sciences Research and Technology Support.
  12. R. Patrick, (2016) Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), Cure PSP Unlocking the Secrets of Brain Disease. https://www.psp.org/iwanttolearn/prime-of-life-brain-disease/cte/
  13. K. Price, (2020) Swimmer Trischa Zorn’s Paralympic legacy goes beyond her staggering 55-medal haul, United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, United States. https://www.teamusa.org/News/2020/October/26/Swimmer-Trischa-Zorns-Paralympic-Legacy-Goes-Beyond-Her-Staggering-Medal-Haul
  14. C. G. Pennington, L. W. Pennington, Enhancing Physical Education for Students with Vision Impairment and Preventing Retinal Detachment, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 91 (3) (2020a) 53-54. [DOI]
  15. T. Edison, (2015) How Social Media is Promoting Disability Awareness, The Chicago Lighthouse, United States. https://chicagolighthouse.org/sandys-view/social-media-disability-awareness/
  16. O. B. Iglesias, L. E. G. Sánchez, M. Á. A. Rodríguez, Do young people with Asperger syndrome or intellectual disability use social media and are they cyberbullied or cyberbullies in the same way as their peers?, Psicothema, 31 (1) (2019) 30–37.
  17. V. Gordon, C. G. Pennington, Tips for Including Individuals with Autism in Physical Education, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 93 (1) (2022) 58-60.
  18. J. A. Manganello, Media use for children with disabilities in the United States during COVID-19, Journal of Children and Media, 15 (2021) 29-32.
  19. C. G. Pennington, L. W. Pennington, Inclusive Physical Activity and Physical Education for Students with Epilepsy, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. 91 (2) (2020b) 52-53.
  20. E. Ellcessor, B. Kirkpatrick, Studying Disability for a Better Cinema and Media Studies, JCMS: Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, 58 (4) (2019) 139-144.
  21. C. Cocq, K. Ljuslinder, Self-representations on social media, Reproducing and challenging discourses on disability, Alter, 14 (2) (2020) 71-84.
  22. T. Basselin, Imagining Anew: Positive Representations of Disability in Recent Media, Journal of Disability and Religion, 24 (4) (2020) 445-452.
  23. P. Jones, R. Forrester-Jones, Valuing e-inclusion: Social media and the social networks of adolescents with intellectual disability, Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, (2018).
  24. C. G. Pennington, K. Sentell, J. Pennington, C. Bevins, C. Grudza, N. Perez, T. Mathews, (2021) How Prosthesis Enables the Inclusion of Amputees in Physical Activity and Sport, 9th International Conference on Sport Sciences Research and Technology Support.