DAA News Network

Dishonest charity poster reinforces negative stereotype

Posted 18/2-10 at 14.36


Boy in wheelchair in a black and white photo with words' He'd love to walk away from this photo too'

Disability rights activists have argued that the new Muscular Dystrophy (MD) Campaign poster recalls the outdated, negative images of disabled people.The poster shows Bradley Addison, a young boy with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, in a wheelchair with the caption, "he'd love to walk away from this poster too".

Andy Crooks, who has MD, said: "My initial reaction was one of disbelief. It's dumbfounding that such negative imagery would be used to go back to the old stereotype of wheelchair users being people to pity."

MD Campaign chief executive Phillip O'Neill said. "Nobody would want his or her child not to walk. Fighting it on a medical front is important to us but so is fighting it on a social front. We're all in this together. We rely on funding from the public and are extremely proud of the adverts."


Editorial comment: This insensitive, ignorant, mendacious, retrograde move from the MD Campaign ignores all the progress made over the last twenty years by disabled people in our fight for images that show us as vibrant individuals in the world.

This picture obviously does not suit the MD Campaign or its ad agency hired guns. No, they prefer an image of disability as an isolated young boy trapped on his own in a wheelchair in a black and white world, all the colour and joy washed out. And then the caption - "he'd love to walk away from this poster too" - finishes off the bleak message of utter desolation.

What makes this a more cynical lie is that Bradley, a vital, lively, imaginative child, as the pictures below show, actually lives in a very inclusive and very technicolor world. For example, when he was five he drew a summer playground design for a gift card sold through Tesco. Is this a grim child abandoned in an ad man's limbo? Is this the miserable ‘wheelchair-bound cripple' depicted in the poster? Hardly. Especially as over the photo of Bradley and his mom, the headline reads `My special boy still leads a normal life'.

Surely the MD Campaign can do its work without such dishonest and harmful representation of the people they claim to be helping.

Bradley, boy in wheelchair and his mum outside Tesco with another lady with Tesco giftcard in the background Smiling faces of boy in a wheelchair  and his mum

Bradley with his mum, Sarah





Comment added 03/9-10 at 12.06 by: cheap jordans (2044022@yahoo.com)

In 1994-95 season, in the dull atmosphere, the low ratings made Magician Johnson genuflect Cheap Jordans

Comment added 20/2-10 at 16.58 by: Eleanor (news@daa.org.uk)

Thank you for adding your comment! Good to know reader's responses.

Comment added 18/2-10 at 20.07 by: Angela Drane (angeladrane@talktalk.net)

A dear friend of mine died in November 2009 he had MD he reached over 40 and was on holiday when he died - he was a fantastic artist and disability rights campaigner he will be turning in his grave over this image how dare Phillip O'Neill be so "negative" in his black and white world - It is a great injustice to Bradley and his family that Mr O'Neill didn't address the facts as hilighted in your editorial that Bradley lives a very inclusive colourful life !!! and to think Mr O'Neill gets paid to put back the portrayal of disabled children and adults decades.

Add your comment:

Written by: