The New York Times had this article last week on how the perception of people with disabilities is changing in the media and in popular culture. From the Times piece:
The public image of people with disabilities has often hinged on the heroic or the tragic. But Mr. (Josh) Blue, 28, represents the broader portrait of disability now infusing television and film. This new, sometimes confrontational stance reflects the higher expectations among many members of the disabled population that they be treated as people who happen to have a disability, rather than as people defined by disability...(Hat Tip: NerdyMom)
...Hollywood’s embrace of a franker depiction of disabilities is mirrored in everyday life in trends such as the jettisoning, by both child and adult amputees, of cosmetic covers for prosthetic legs. Instead, prosthetics experts say, many patients wear their legs openly, often customizing them with designs that are flaunted like tattoos.