Using UK contemporary issues in the media, explain how blind people are socially excluded in society. Include disability models. 

Overall, accessibility issues and stereotypes in the media contribute to the alienation and exclusion of blind people in society.

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The social disability model looks at the aspects of society that make it difficult for people with disabilities to function optimally and have the highest possible quality of life. Using this model as a lens, there are two main factors we should consider when studying blind people in contemporary media. The first is accessibility: blind people do not have the same access to media that sighted people do. The second is portrayal: blind people are depicted in media, but in the entertainment industry, they tend to fall into a set of stereotypes.

Accessibility: TV broadcasting networks in the UK are required to have a minimum percentage of their programs be accessible to the visually impaired (specifically, at least ten percent of their shows must have an option to hear a narrator explain what is happening onscreen). According to BBC News (link below), many potential viewers say that this percentage should be higher.

Another problem with this requirement is that it applies to the broadcasting networks overall and not region by region. This means that accessibility is not evenly distributed: the network could have a higher percentage of accessible programs aired in one area and next to none in another.

Portrayal: Similarly to people of different ethnicities, people with disabilities are often subject to stereotypes in the media. They are included in movies and TV programs, but the characters with disabilities tend to fall into the same roles over and over; blind characters are often shown as being overly dependent on others or serving as an inspiration for other characters. Other stereotypes depend on the genre of the media. The RNIB link below has specific examples.

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