Media coverage of people with developmental delays tends to focus on the
difficulties the population faces in society rather than the group’s positive
aspects, a new study by the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services has
Set to be presented on Tuesday and Wednesday at a ministry
conference in Tel Aviv on intellectual disabilities, the study showed that
despite an increase in the number of newspaper articles and online media
providing information on this population, the media in general still focuses on
the overwhelming difficulties they face as a group in society.
they perpetuate the image that people with developmental delays are always at a
disadvantage in Israel society compared to other people,” wrote the report’s
authors in their introduction.
Based on a sample of some 596 newspaper
articles and 295 website items published between July and December 2010, the
survey found that coverage in the haredi sector was more positive while reports
in the daily press tended to be more negative.
“The Ministry of Welfare
will continue its efforts to break down the stereotypes surrounding people with
this type of disability,” said the office’s director-general Nachum
“The ministry believes that with the right kind of
encouragement and support, any person with a disability can achieve their
potential and integrate fully into society with the chance of leading a
A spokeswoman for the ministry said that analyzing how
people with developmental delays are presented in the media provided a good
indication of the general public’s attitude towards the population.
additional to overall presentation of the community in the media, the study also
examined issues related to care and living conditions for the sector, criminal
law, general activities, education and integration.
The survey found that
two-thirds of the media coverage dealt with practical issues relating to the
population’s integration within mainstream society and the rest of the coverage
focused on health issues of developmental delays, with numerous articles
focusing on therapeutic treatment and early diagnosis during pregnancy.
very small number of articles focused on the challenges facing family members of
people with such disabilities or on employment options for adults with