Our final projects are due tomorrow, and we're supposed to write a summary as our last official blog post. So here it is: for my project, I created a website called "Educational Resources for Studying Disabilities in the Media."
The web address is https://sites.google.com/site/disabilitymediastudies/
My intent was to make something that could be a resource for people teaching disability studies, or media studies, or anything in between. It's sort of a fancy annotated bibliography, in that in that I've listed a whole bunch of websites, movies, tv shows, books, and articles that might be relevant to educators, with occasional comments or suggestions about possible class activities. I linked to several existing resources on this topic on the main page, and I also included brief introductions to the concepts of disability studies, media studies, and neurodiversity; but the bulk of the site is devoted to media representations of different areas of disability. I fully acknowledge that organizing the site in that way is problematic, because it defines people in terms of disability labels (buying into the "medical model" in some ways). However, I feel that for pragmatic purposes it is the most straightforward way to initiate the site. I am completely open to the idea of rearranging it at some point in the future. Indeed, I hope that I can keep the site active, adding to it, changing it, reorganizing it as I discover new things or get suggestions from users. (I don't know if there will actually be any users, but I can always hope!) In this way I see the site as a work in progress.
In addition to presenting the site to my classmates tomorrow, I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to share it on Friday with the U of M's Interdisciplinary Graduate Group on Disability Studies, which is currently working to develop a Disability Studies graduate minor. I expect I will get lots of useful feedback from both of these audiences, so the site should get off to a dynamic start right away!