The Disability & Media Alliance Project (D–MAP) brings together the disability community and the media industry to promote accurate representation of people with disabilities and to eliminate disability stereotypes and misinformation in news, television, films, and other media.
Nearly 20% of the population—54 million Americans—has some type of disability, yet reporting on disability topics is limited. And when the media covers a disability story or portrays a character with a disability, the presentation frequently reflects inaccuracies about disability that have deep roots in American history and culture.
Consequently, people with disabilities are too often portrayed as tragic, malevolent, or inspirational figures who spark pity or fear, or who deserve accolades for triumphing over adversity. Rarely are they depicted as complex individuals whose lives and experiences include, but are not entirely defined by, their disabilities.
D–MAP encourages images of diverse people with disabilities on television and in films and helps journalists write accurate articles about people with disabilities, the disability experience, and disability policy.
D-MAP's long-term goals include:
- Replacing the pervasive, negative public perception of disability with an understanding and appreciation of disability as an ordinary aspect of human experience
- Reducing disability discrimination, fostering respect, and promoting fair and equal treatment for people with disabilities