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Nava R. Silton, Ph.D

Marymount Manhattan College
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A collection of stories, experiences and uplifting tales regarding the world of disabilities and the individuals who have them.

Disability Portrayals On TV At Record High

Nava Silton

According to a recent report, the number of individuals with disabilities being portrayed on prime-time television is on the rise with it nearly doubling from 8 portrayals in 2015 to 15 portrayals in 2016. The report was conducted by GLAAD a media advocacy organization for the gay and lesbian community. The annual report assesses representation of minority groups in television, including individuals with disabilities. GLAAD found that 1.7% of characters of series regulars on network shows are those with disabilities. This is the highest percentage since the report was first started in 2010. These characters are on a range of different shows including, but not limited to, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Speechless” on ABC, “Empire” on FOX, “Superstore” and “Taken” on NBC, “NCIS: New Orleans” and “Scorpion” on CBS and “Switched at Birth” and “Pretty Little Liars” on Freeform. You can find out more about the report here.

 A shot from ABC's Speechless

A shot from ABC's Speechless