How Disability is Depicted in Film and on Television

Wheelchair user Daryl Mitchell plays Patton Plame on NCIS: New Orleans.

Wheelchair user Daryl Mitchell plays Patton Plame on NCIS: New Orleans.

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I don’t remember the first time I saw an actor in a wheelchair. This is probably because I didn’t start using a mobility aid for my multiple sclerosis until 2011 and didn’t become a full-time wheelchair user until 2014. After that, everything changed. It’s like when you buy a new car in a particular color. All of a sudden you see that car absolutely everywhere. As an avid watcher of movies and television, I have now become hyperaware of disability representation in the media.

Historically, the inclusion of a wheelchair user or someone with another disability in a movie or TV show often