Getting Beyond Stereotypes: Better Disability Journalism


Getting Beyond Stereotypes: Better Disability Journalism

Reporting stories about disability as people.

Type: Webinar

Originally broadcast on May 11, 2016

TIme Estimate: One hour

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SKU: NUWEB04-16 Category: Tags: ,


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There are 56 million Americans who identify as disabled. Tens of millions more are connected to disability as direct caregivers or family members. Yet journalism about disability is too often stuck in decades-old models that imagine disability only as tragedy, a personal medical problem or something to be overcome. Thankfully, the historical divide between newsrooms and disability activist communities is rapidly becoming an a thing of the past.

This webinar presents better ways to tell stories about disability as identity, reveal key resources for reporting on these stories and see the disability angle hidden within almost every beat.


  • How to avoid common mistakes that dehumanize disabled individuals.
  • Where and how to find untold stories about disability in America.
  • The benefits of understanding disability as identity rather than as a collection of medical concerns.
  • How to connect disability to other stories in other communities in order to practice intersectional journalism.


Every major beat has a disability angle, likely one you haven’t explored. Politics, metro, sports, health, entertainment, even weather (we could tell you stories about snowstorms, Hurricane Katrina and wheelchair-accessible trailers) — reporters who work in any of these fields, and the editors who oversee newsrooms, will find a wealth of new stories at their fingertips once they begin to engage with disability.


Lawrence Carter-Long

Lawrence Carter-Long has been featured, or placed stories in the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian (UK) and USA Today among other respected outlets. He is the Public Affairs Specialist for the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency.


David M. Perry

David M. Perry is a disability rights journalist and history professor at Dominican University. His work has appeared at, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera America, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and many others. Perry is the father of a nine-year-old boy with Down syndrome.