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Hello and welcome to Framing Disability, a blog on disability representation in media. While I can’t force you to read the rest of this introduction I do urge anyone who consumes my content to read it so that we can be on the same page.

So why don’t I go ahead and introduce myself. My name is Mitch, I was diagnosed with a genetic disorder when I was young. My preferred pronouns are He/Him. As a youth and throughout my adult life I have enjoyed film, acting in plays, and writing. I have not thus far sought out a career in acting because of the barriers for people with disabilities in getting cast and because of my dependence on needing health insurance.

As a kid I had some fun making youtube videos with my friends and even though these videos would only get a couple hundred views there were still people who would comment things like “Is that kid a midget?”. My struggles with some of these problems, things like lack of representation, harassment, and institutionalized barriers of entry led me to an interest in disability studies, specifically in the area of representation in different medias. In college I took a film studies course and did a directed study on the topic of disability representation in media to help build some critical frameworks for processing the media and world around me.

Now it feels like I just touted my “credentials”, but I am really just trying to express that I have reason to be passionate about these matters and probably am a little more informed than the average person. That being said, the articles I write are purely my opinion and I have no belief whatsoever that I am always right. I will however, write with conviction and enthusiasm because dancing around challenging topic matter will have zero value.

“Mitch, my man, you gotta get to defining Framing Disability’s goals.” Alright, alright I’m on it. There is a lot of great disability study going on and lots of critical thought on it’s representation in media as well. I just think that sometimes it can be difficult to parse for a variety of reasons such as technical language, articles being too spread out across sources, etc. I want people to be able to visit Framing Disability and find educational articles on the basic concepts, tropes, issues in this field and then I want them to be able to read critique articles on a wide variety of media forms from plays to film, manga and more.

Which leads me to my final point, I’m going to make a stupid number of mistakes. I hope you are willing to stick through them with me, but I understand if not. So let me float a few of my “guidelines” at you.

  • I reserve the right to make edits or rewrites to any of my articles. In return I will try to have some form of revision history for users to look back on.
  • I think comment sections can be awesome. That being said, I will not let any comment that is mean spirited or trolling to be posted. My hope is that people who have read this introduction will have tempered their expectations.
  • Websites need to be accessible period. Let me know when I am not meeting this expectation. I will do everything I can to right the situation.
  • I will always try to reference other works that inform my own.
  • Disability is such a broadly affecting, diverse body of people. What goes for me is not necessarily representative of the disability community and there will always be disagreements over what is and isn’t good representation.
  • If I fall into any negative language or harmful descriptions of disability, call me on it. I try to do my research and keep up on terminology, but as I said before, I make mistakes.
  • Be gentle with me. I am never going to consciously attack any piece of media or tell someone that they shouldn’t like something. We need to recognize that we can deeply enjoy something while also being aware of it’s issues.

If you are completely new to the ideas represented on this blog a good place to start is my series of short primer articles that cover a wide variety of topics.

I think that that is everything for now! I hope you enjoy the content I create and that you find it informative.