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Language Used when Covering People with Disabilities

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News outlets frequently portray people with disabilities as either helpless victims or objects of motivation. Portrayal of people with disabilities has improved over the years, but there is still room to grow. News outlets tend to make disability the center

News outlets frequently portray people with disabilities as either helpless victims or objects of motivation. Portrayal of people with disabilities has improved over the years, but there is still room to grow. News outlets tend to make disability the center of the story. A story about a disabled person is primarily about their disability, with their other accomplishments framed by it.

As one example of the victimhood narrative, ABC News used to run a special called My Extreme Affliction as part of 20/20 until 2012. As the name implies, the specials covered people with disabilities, specifically extreme versions. One 2008 episode on Tourette’s syndrome described Tourette’s like it was some sort of demonic possession. The narrator talked about children who were “prisoners in their own bodies” and a family that was at risk of being “torn apart by Tourette’s.” I have Tourette’s syndrome myself, which made ABC’s special especially uncomfortable to watch. When not wringing their metaphorical hands over the “victims” of disability, many news outlets fall into the “supercrip” narrative. They refer to people as “heroes” who “overcome” their disabilities to achieve something that ranges from impressive to utterly mundane. The main emphasis is on the disability rather than the person who has it. These articles then exploit that disability to make readers feel good. As a person with a disability, I am aware that it impacts my life, but it is not the center of my life. The tics from my Tourette’s syndrome made it difficult to speak to people when I was younger, but even then they did not rule me.

Disability coverage, however, is still incredibly important for promoting acceptance and giving people with disabilities a voice. A little over a fifth of adults in the United States have a disability (CDC: 53 million adults in the US live with a disability), so poor coverage means marginalizing or even excluding a large amount of people. Journalists should try to reach their entire audience. The news helps shape public opinion with the stories it features. Therefore, it should provide visibility for people with disabilities in order to increase acceptance. This is a matter of civil rights. People with disabilities deserve fair and accurate representation.

My personal experience with ABC’s Tourette’s special leads me to believe that the media, especially the news, needs to be more responsible in their reporting. Even the name “My Extreme Affliction” paints a poor picture of what to expect. A show that focuses on sensationalist portrayals in pursuit of views further ostracizes people with disabilities. The emphasis should be on a person and not their condition. The National Center for Disability Journalism tells reporters to “Focus on the person you are interviewing, not the disability” (Tips for interviewing people with disabilities). This people-first approach is the way to improve disability coverage: Treat people with disabilities with the same respect as any other minority group.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Analyzing Optometric Related Care in Insurance Policies

Description

Optometry is an important field in medicine as it allows people a chance to have their vision corrected and it serves as a health screening opportunity for those who receive a dilated eye examination. One of the largest barriers to

Optometry is an important field in medicine as it allows people a chance to have their vision corrected and it serves as a health screening opportunity for those who receive a dilated eye examination. One of the largest barriers to receiving a dilated eye exam is insurance coverage. Most health insurance policies have limited optometric coverage. By expanding health insurance plans to be more inclusive of optometric care, people who use these health insurance plans will have a better access of care.

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Date Created
2021-05

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Precision Temperature Control of CXFEL Linear Accelerator Cavities

Description

The ASU Compact X-ray Free Electron Laser (CXFEL) is a first of its kind instrument that will illuminate the processes of life and allow scientists to create more effective treatments for disease. The dimensions of the linear accelerator (LINAC) cavities

The ASU Compact X-ray Free Electron Laser (CXFEL) is a first of its kind instrument that will illuminate the processes of life and allow scientists to create more effective treatments for disease. The dimensions of the linear accelerator (LINAC) cavities must remain stable during operation, for a change in the geometry alters the standing wave microwave energy resonance within the cavities and leads to reflected rather than coupled and useful microwave energy to electric field coupling. This disturbs the electron bunch acceleration dynamics critical to the ultimate generation of x-ray pulses. Cooling water must be supplied to the electron generating RF-GUN, and linear accelerator (LINAC) structures at unique flowrate and temperature setpoints that are specific to the operating mode of the CXFEL. Design specifications for the water supply to the RF-GUN and three LINACs and were made for the nominal operating mode, which adds a 3 kW heat load to the water. To maintain steady cavity dimensions, water must be supplied to each device under test at 30.0 ºC ± 0.06 ºC. The flowrate of water must be 3.5 GPM to the RF-GUN and 2.5 GPM to each of the three LINACs with ± 0.01 GPM flowrate resolution. The primary function of the Dedicated-Precision Thermal Trim Unit (D-PTTU) is to control the flowrate and temperature of water supply to each device under test. A simplified model of the system was developed to select valves that would meet our design specifications for flowrate and temperature control. After using this model for valve selection, a detailed system model was created to simulate relevant coupled-domain physics of the integrated system. The detailed system model was used to determine the critical sensitivities of the system and will be used to optimize the performance of the system in the future. Before the detailed system model can be verified and tuned with experiments, the sensors were calibrated in an ice-bath to ensure the sensors measure accurate and precise values. During initial testing, the D-PTTU was able to achieve ± 0.02 ºC temperature resolution, which exceeds the design specification by a factor of three.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Votes that Count: Building a Tool to Facilitate Understanding of the Effects of Voting Procedure on Electoral Outcomes

Description

The goal of this project was to develop a prototype for an educational tool that will help users understand how the voting system deployed by a government can affect the outcomes of elections. This tool was developed in Java SE,

The goal of this project was to develop a prototype for an educational tool that will help users understand how the voting system deployed by a government can affect the outcomes of elections. This tool was developed in Java SE, consisting of a model for the simulation of elections capable of supporting various voting systems, along with a variety of fairness measures, and educational and explanatory material. While a completed version of this tool would ideally be fully self-contained, easily accessible in-browser, and provide detailed visualizations of the simulated elections, the current prototype version consists of a GitHub repository containing the code, with the educational material and explanations contained within the thesis paper. Ultimately, the goal of this project was to be a stepping stone on the path to create a tool that will instill a measure of systemic skepticism in the user; to give them cause to question why our systems are built the way they are, and reasons to believe that they could be changed for the better. In undertaking this project, I hope to help in providing people with the political education needed to make informed decisions about how they want the government to function. The GitHub repository containing all the code can be found at, https://github.com/SpencerDiamond/Votes_that_Count

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Date Created
2022-05