Missing in Action? Images of Disability in Sports Illustrated for Kids


  • Brent Hardin
  • Marie Hardin
  • Susan Lynn
  • Kristi Walsdorf




This study examines photographic images of children with discernible disabilities in a popular children's sports magazine, Sports Illustrated for Kids (SIK). Specifically, this study looks at the number and types of images of disability presented in SIK over a three-year period, from July 1996 (just before the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta, Ga.) to June 1999. The objective of this study is to assess how the magazine presents disability to its young, impressionable readers. Because SIK has a high circulation among readers who are especially susceptible to the power of photographs, it is important to study the images of disability transmitted in its pages. These images could be significant in the formation of disabled and non-disabled children's attitudes toward disability.