Phillips, C. Journal of Medical Humanities (2001) 22: 195. doi:10.1023/A:1016612116909
Disability imagery, whether photographs, posters, or verbal or written discourse, comprises multiple viewpoints or gazes, ranging from the impaired physical body to the disabling social environment. In some instances, photographic image and accompanying text combine to reinforce the notion of persons with disabilities as helpless and needy people. These conceptualizations not only emphasize obvious prejudices and limited thinking about persons with disabilities, but also illustrate the consequences: persons with disabilities tend to assimilate the oppressive images constructed by society. In order to create positive images of, for example, persons with brain injury, epilepsy or hemiplegia, we need to develop a disability consciousness that allows us to re-imagine (dis)ability in ways that value individual identity. In so doing, we raise critical questions about self and other.