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Disability Arts Online

Negative images / 14 November 2008

I had the opportunity the other week of either running with a cartoon about the continuing adverse effect that disability charities have with regard to the portrayal of Disabled people, or one about a woman with big boobs. I chose the boobs! Creatures cartoon

I’d like to say that it was a subtle and clever use of metaphors, but unfortunately it only came to me after I’d uploaded the boobs cartoon and then read an article in the on-line Disability Now about a debate organised by RADAR earlier in October. It was based on whether or not Disabled people’s organisations could campaign effectively for social justice without the need to ally ourselves with non-disabled campaigners.

David Morris (he’s the senior advisor to the Mayor of London on disability and deaf issues) told the debate that we need to challenge the big corporate charities which pump millions of pounds into advertising campaigns which ‘perpetuate indignity and the denial of basic human rights by promoting negative images of disabled people’. He then went on to mention the Leonard Cheshire Disability's Creature Discomforts campaign.

Er, nice one David. I really can’t argue with that one. And it’s nice to know that Boris has got somebody on the case. But what do you think we’ve been doing for the past several decades?! Perhaps you’ve missed all of the DAN actions at various Leonard Cheshire institutions around the country or the articles that have been written on this very subject?!

I don’t claim to know David, and he’s probably a very nice guy, but I think maybe he deserves a copy of my 2007 cartoon collection book (in which this cartoon first appeared) for stating the bleedin’ obvious don’t you?!

Oh, by the way. The 2007 cartoon collection is still available if you’re interested in a copy. Here is the link for the product’s page of my web site.

(How did I know that this was going to be another plug for his cartoon books?! – Ed)

Enlarged image - If you want to see an enlarged version or get a description of any of the cartoons on this blog, then just click on the middle of each cartoon and it will open as a much bigger version along with a description for your software to read.

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