Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
O'Malley, MP
International Journal Of Language & Communication Disorders
Voices of disability on the radio
Optional Fields
communication disability radio talk frame analysis MEDIA
Background: While much commentary exists in relation to the portrayal of disabled people in the media, very little research examines the talk itself in any detail. This paper examines the how people with communication disabilities and disabled people are dealt with in the talk of a radio programme about disability.Aims: To show how the voices of disabled people, and in particular people with communication difficulties, are dealt with on a radio programme titled For and About People with Disability ( & Procedures: Analysis of 15 episodes of an Irish radio programme for and about people with disability called Outside the Box to identify frames governing the discourse.Outcomes & Results: Three frames are identified: radio programme frame; presenter frame; and interview frame. Communication disability never appears as a topic in the radio programme frame. In the presenter and interview frames the presenter foregrounds medical aspects of experiences, asks questions that only seek factual information, and fails to respond to subjective aspects of disabled people's experiences. Analysis of the interviewees' responses show how they hold the floor and introduce subjective accounts of living with disability.Conclusions: Frame analysis reveals how disability (including communication disability) is dealt with in the talk of a radio programme for and about people with disability There is an overemphasis on medical aspects of disability and a view of disability as a primarily physical phenomenon is broadcast. In spite of mainly medical/factual questions, interviewees manage to include rich accounts of their experience. People with communication disability are not included, possibly due to issues of intelligibility or lack of awareness. Speech and language therapists have a valuable role to play in terms of 'learning to listen' and 'helping to tell'.
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