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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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Determination of Renal Stone Composition with Dual-Energy CT

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This research evaluates the capabilities of typical radiological measures and dual-energy systems to differentiate common kidney stones materials: uric acid, oxalates, phosphates, struvite, and cystine. Two different X-ray spectra (80 kV and 120 kV) were applied and the dual-energy ratio

This research evaluates the capabilities of typical radiological measures and dual-energy systems to differentiate common kidney stones materials: uric acid, oxalates, phosphates, struvite, and cystine. Two different X-ray spectra (80 kV and 120 kV) were applied and the dual-energy ratio of individual kidney stones was used to figure out the discriminability of different materials. A CT cross-section with a prospective kidney stone was analyzed to see the capabilities of such a technique. Typical radiological measures suggested that phosphates and oxalate stones can be distinguished from uric acid stones while dual-energy seemed to prove similar effectiveness.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Proton Therapy Patient Log File Analysis for Machine Performance Evaluation

Description

Treatment log files for spot scanning proton therapy provide a record of delivery accuracy, but they also contain diagnostic information for machine performance. A collection of patient log files can identify machine performance trends over time. This facilitates the identification

Treatment log files for spot scanning proton therapy provide a record of delivery accuracy, but they also contain diagnostic information for machine performance. A collection of patient log files can identify machine performance trends over time. This facilitates the identification of machine issues before they cause downtime or degrade treatment quality. At Mayo Clinic Arizona, all patient treatment logs are stored in a database. These log files contain information including the gantry, beam position, monitor units (MUs), and gantry angle. This data was analyzed to identify trends, which were then correlated with quality assurance measurements and maintenance records.

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2021-05