Glee has never done well with disability. I've posted about it here and here. I really thought they had the chance to improve now that they've put head cheerleader Quinn Fabray in a wheelchair, but in the first five minutes of today's episode, they managed to ruin all chances of redemption. The episode opened with Quinn and Artie--Glee's token character in a wheelchair--singing "I'm Still Standing." This maybe Glee wanted irony here, but their failure to deal well with disability up until this point means they haven't earned it.
They then ruined any chance of doing a newly-disabled story in a unique way by having Quinn explain right away that her spine will heal. Whether it does or not, Glee is embarking on a cliche. Quinn's attitude of "I will walk again!" is not unrealistic at all--but Glee's already dealt with this. Artie has spent three seasons longing to walk, making his lecture to Quinn about accepting her situation hypocritical at best. They had a chance to show something unusual for TV--someone accepting physical disability without associating it with their life being over--and they didn't.
Now let's talk about senior skip day, shall we? Again, there is potential here. Going to an amusement park IS difficult if you have a disability. More so if you're there with people who are able-bodied. And the scene with people using wheelchairs shredding it at the skatepark was awesome. Ostracizing Quinn and Artie from the excursion, whether by some plan of Artie's to get Quinn on her own or not? Ruins the potential. Intercutting the scenes and therefore highlighting how excluded the two using wheelchairs are? Even more not okay.
Does it happen? Yes. Does it need to be talked about? Could Glee have covered more ground doing something different? Absolutely.
They handled the storyline with Sue's baby having Down Syndrome well, if predictably. But Sue's character has been built around her acceptance of Down Syndrome. Glee didn't do anything new here, except make it a Very Special Episode by airing it in the episode with Quinn's storyline.
Also, whether Quinn and Artie date, or whether Artie is just crushing all this does is retract all the ground they made by having Artie date Brittney by pairing the two students in wheelchairs for however long.