‘The Baby-Sitters Club’: The Regrettable Persistence of Pretty Portrayals of Childhood Disability

‘The Baby-Sitters Club’: The Regrettable Persistence of Pretty Portrayals of Childhood Disability
Growing up, I never saw anyone who looked like me. Not in school, not at home, and certainly not on television or in theaters. And I’m sure many people with disabilities can say the same thing. We all know the statistics, that in spite of 15 percent of the world’s population having a disability only about two percent of television and movies actually contain a disabled character. Factor in each subsequent generation before that, and two percent sounds like an improvement! All of this is to say that, as a kid, I latched on to the few characters who had anything passing for a disability, whether that was Lieutenant Dan (Gary Sinise) in “Forrest Gump” or, New York-based child baby-sitter, Stacey McGill.

Ann M. Martin’s “The Baby-Sitters Club” book series was my obsession for several years in the mid-1990s. Something about the characters’ entrepreneurial spirit coupled with
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