Advocating for a dementia-inclusive visual communication

Ang, Pei Soo and Yeo, Siang Lee and Koran, Leela (2023) Advocating for a dementia-inclusive visual communication. Dementia-International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 22 (3). pp. 628-645. ISSN 1471-3012, DOI

Full text not available from this repository.


Introduction This study examines the underlying visual communication strategies found in existing images of dementia in the public domain. By delineating how experiences of dementia are visualized and their consequent social interpretations, we aim to inform and advocate for a dementia-inclusive visual communication, that is, visual depictions that cultivate and represent a dementia-inclusive society. Methods The visuals were analyzed by employing the Visual Discourses of Disability (ViDD) framework that juxtaposes the ``perspectivizing-personizing'' cline with the ``enabling-disabling'' continuum. The data studied comprise a total of 432 images sourced from three domains, namely (1) The Star, a Malaysian mainstream English newspaper (2012-2021); (2) Alzheimer's Disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM) website (2019-2021); and (3) the Ministry of Health Malaysia (2019-2021) website. Findings from the visual analyses were corroborated by four representatives of ADFM in a group interview. Results There is a predominance of stigmatized images, constructing dementia as a loss and deficit, thus depicting individuals in distanced suffering. Generic representations of people through stock images, a unique focus on the hands, representations of brain degeneration through abstractions and missing puzzle pieces are also prevalent. Despite these, the interview data confirmed that the perspectivizing aspect may be necessary to educate the public on what dementia entails. While personizing images that depict personhood and actual persons living with dementia are ideal, the use of stock images may be necessary if there is a need to maintain confidentiality and observe sensitivities. Similarly, images with positive emotions are encouraged but disabling ones are equally important to reflect reality and inculcate empathy. Conclusion When capturing, selecting and publishing images of dementia, organizations should deliberate on different visual elements which evoke empowerment, advocacy, handicapping and othering implications as outlined in the ViDD framework. Any decision should only be made after considering the purposes of publications and implications such images have on the intended audiences.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur (GPF005N-2019)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dementia; alzheimer's disease; Dementia-inclusive; Visual communication; Visual discourses of disability; Disability
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Languages and Linguistics
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2023 07:48
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2023 07:48

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item