This weekend, Me Before You will open to hordes of excited book fans. Featuring a main character paralyzed from the neck down, it adds to the canon of films that portray disabled characters. Film and TV have a history of being less than exemplary when it comes to showcasing diverse characters, and characters with disabilities are no exception. Yet over the years, well-rounded characters who have disabilities, but aren't defined by them, have emerged on screen.
Sometimes they're a main character of a TV show going through most story lines naturally, with just a mention or two of how they explore the unique challenges they face. Occasionally, an entire show will focus on bringing a community of disabled characters to light. Films tend to favor true stories that are dramatized. While they can have a tendency to be maudlin or condescending, some of these films have proven to be sensitive portrayals of men and women struggling with disabilities.