Jason Lin Presented His Honors Thesis Project at the Undergraduate Research Conference
Shifting the Public Perception of Disabilities via Children's Books
At the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Asheville, North Carolina, Jason Lin presented his Honors Thesis Project on disabilities and illness and its inclusion in children’s books.
Having a disability often carries much more weight than a physical or mental limitation. Society’s stigma against those with disabilities and illnesses often leads to social exclusion and a lack of resources; the word “disability” carries a lot of negative connotation in itself. Visual communication design can be used as a tool to shift perception of disabilities as a set of limitations towards a positive message of neurodiversity that emphasizes the abilities and unique experience of living with disabilities. It forces parents, teachers, and community members to think much more critically about how people with disabilities are treated. Designing and effectively communicating stories of inclusion through children’s books helps remove common misconceptions and introduces key ideas at a very early age to help assist in both raising the next generation to be much more accepting and igniting the societal shift in behavior that is necessary to remove the stigma surrounding disability.