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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Media Forum

12. Portrayals as the "Poor Unfortunate"

[Jean Bender] I'm Jean Bender.

I'm a parent volunteer for the Arc Minnesota and the Autism Society of Minnesota.

How do you support your colleagues who don't share your sensitivities or your concern?

And I'll give an example of… I was interviewed by a reporter, who it became clear as she was interviewing me really wanted to portray my son, who does not have an invisible disability, as a kind of a poor unfortunate.

 And he actually has a pretty good life, and that's what I want to get across to the community.

But instead, I was asked, "Can we take a picture of his wheelchair?"

"Did he break anything in your house that we can film?"

[Liz Collin – WCCO TV Reporter and Anchor] I think in our…in our newsroom especially, we really are a team, and if we see something that is incorrect, you know, we'll go in and talk to the reporter about like, you know, "Hey let's do this instead."

But I would say, you know, if you had concerns after a story, it's okay to e-mail that reporter and say, you know, "I didn't like this, this and this," because we want…we want to be better and we want to learn, so don't… we don't know everything.

So talk about those concerns and circle back.

We do appreciate that.

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