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ERIC Number: EJ834912
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1360-2322
Representation of People with Intellectual Disabilities in a British Newspaper in 1983 and 2001
Wilkinson, Penny; McGill, Peter
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, v22 n1 p65-76 Jan 2009
Background: Media representation of people with intellectual disabilities may contribute to general perceptions held about them and reflect changes in policy and service provision. Materials and Methods: Articles from "The Guardian" newspaper in 2001 were analysed and compared to a previous analysis of material published in 1983. Results: There was much more coverage of people with autism or Down syndrome than expected from their actual frequency in the British population of people with intellectual disabilities. Newspaper reports continued to be about children more often than expected when about autism or Down syndrome, but not when about people with other intellectual disabilities. Medically related representations were less than in the past but juxtaposition with other client groups continued. More "people-first" terminology was now used except in respect of people with autism. Articles systematically under-represented complexity and severity of need. Conclusions: Policy and service changes may have contributed to the decline of medically- and child-related representations within non-specific intellectual disabilities. The continued over-representation of children in articles about autism and Down syndrome, and the generally increased reference to people with those syndromes, suggests growing differentiation within the population of people with intellectual disabilities. The focus on people with less severe or complex disabilities echoes criticisms of "Valuing People."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom