Blog 4

A Comprehensive Study of Disability Film Media at a Major Metropolitan University

Blog #4

In this study we attempted to learn from focus groups of students without disabilities if disability film media enables discernable engagement and advocacy of the students for the rights of individuals with disabilities. We also attempted to learn from focus groups of families and individuals with disabilities at AHRC New York City if the disability film media facilitates engagement and self-advocacy of the individuals for themselves.

The study ultimately was a success.

“The authors confirmed the benefits of disability film media in representing authentic and credible portraits of individuals with disabilities. The study definitely disclosed further the benefits of engaging students without disabilities on disability media projects, in learning of others with disabilities through pronounced proper realities and representations in the disability film media. Lastly, the study divulged ideal proper portrayals for others with disabilities in the Hollywood mainstream media, a media that is often flavored by fear, focus on impairments and prejudice.”

Looking back at my experience, I learned a lot and gained a lot. I learned how to be a leader and how to conduct focus groups. I also learned how to create a film festival which was used for our study. Over all my experience was life changing and rewarding.



Blog 3

A Comprehensive Study of Disability Film Media at a Major Metropolitan University

Blog #3

After I finished conducting all my focus groups I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. Though I would have loved to continue with even more focus groups, I was quite satisfied with the outcome of my project’s data collection. I had pages and pages of notes filled with great comments and data. Though the outcomes were great, I still had a few bumps I encountered along the path.

During my second focus group many of the students did not show up. We predicted 35 and only 22 came. Out of those 22 people 18 of them were an hour late. This really delayed everything, but with a strong 4 people we began and watched the first film.

After looking back at that day, I realized we were quite productive for the horrible circumstances we were in. After the first film the other students came. They were participating and they had so much to say. I learned that even a bad focus group can bring a lot of useful and interesting data.



Blog 2

A Comprehensive Study of Disability Film Media at a Major Metropolitan University

Blog #2

A Comprehensive Study of Disability Film Media at a Major Metropolitan University

Blog #2

I started off my research this semester reading literature about disability media. I read about the positive and negative portrays of individuals with disabilities. I also read about the different movements across the country focused on disabilities.  All these books and articles gave me a better understanding of what to look for in the focus groups and what types of films to show all three focus groups.

When I first started my project with Dr. Lawler I did not know what exactly to expect. I thought I would just show a bunch of films to a bunch of people and record their reactions, but it was so much more than that.

My first focus group was quite an experience. I got to meet many different types of people who all had some sort of disability. The films I thought spoke more loudly to their cause seemed to not get approval from the majority. It was interesting to see a film through the eyes of someone who actually had a disability. Most of the films I showed where not produced by people with disabilities. The directors were people who were just interested in the topic, but for my focus group they were not just interested…they were living it.

After my first focus group many of my questions were answered, yet ambiguity still seemed to linger. I still had so much to ask, so much to learn, and so much to discover.

Blog #1

A Comprehensive Study of Disability Film Media at a Major Metropolitan University

This semester I am working with Dr. Lawler on a study titled, A Comprehensive Study of Disability Film Media at a Major Metropolitan University. We will be looking at how students at Pace University and other metropolitan universities can benefit from Disability film media to inform them about about disabilities. As we all know, many students who have never been exposed to speaking or conversing with an individual with a visible disability can become quite uncomfortable when confronted with a person with a disability. This is due to their lack of knowledge and experience with the disability world.  

In this study we will be speaking to 3 focus groups ( one of pace students, one of people with disabilities, and one from NYU). We will show them independent disability films and mainstream media films on disability. We will ask questions and give all participants surveys to get numerical and concrete data.

I expect to achieve a better understanding of how film media can  inform students about individuals with disabilities. I also expect to get a better understanding of how people with disabilities want to be represented.