I took another look at one of the articles I had read during the research for my symposium. It was part of the journal; Studies in Higher Education, called ‘Re-visioning Disability and Dyslexia / Down the Camera Lens’. When I was doing my symposium it was not so relevant because it was more about the use of photographs of dyslexics rather than dyslexics using photography. However now that I am encouraging dyslexic university students to take images that represent their experience of dyslexia it is relevant because it talks about how dyslexic and disabled students are visually represented in university prospectuses.
It asks the question “What does disability look like, and in what ways is it socially created through visual images?” In an attempt to answer this, the paper analyses the type of images found in prospectuses of dyslexic and disabled students. One of the methods used to analyse the images was semiotics. The semiotics or message of the images of dyslexics was often stereotypical i.e. conveying difficulty with studying. And in some prospectuses dyslexia wasn’t visually represented at all because it is a hidden disability, which is still not fully accepted by all of society. The paper concluded that images representing dyslexics were very scarce and were often found in the disability section. This frustrates me because I don’t see dyslexia as a disability. Even at my University I don’t think the naming of the area in the Hub where the support is should be termed the disability office because I have found from my research that more and more people want to recognise the advantages of having dyslexia and the success and abilities of dyslexics.
I personally would like to see dyslexic students represented by more positive images. I think the images that I am encouraging the students to take themselves would be more appropriate and more insightful as to what the university experience is like for those with dyslexia.