DVP Power: Culture, Community, Pride
The Disability Visibility Project™ (DVP) is a living and evolving organism. The disability community powers the DVP with their energy, love, and enthusiasm. I am constantly surprised and humbled by the impact of the DVP on individuals, communities, and the media landscape. I hope to do more in the future. The possibilities are endless! The DVP is committed to the following:
- Creating online communities for people to share their stories and connect with one another.
- Centering disabled narratives rooted in the lived experience.
- Highlighting marginalized disabled voices.
- Celebrating disability culture, identity, and pride.
As I launch my crowdfunding campaign on Patreon this December, I asked a few friends to share their stories about the DVP. Check them out below.
What does DVP Power mean to you?
If you use Twitter, use the hashtag #DVPpower and tweet us: @DisVisibility
If you want send a message about the power and value of the DVP, email me: DisabilityVisibilityProject@gmail.com
Feel free to include a written message, photo, audio or video file (1-2 min). If you send an audio or video file, please send a text transcript as well! Be sure to include your first and last name (or Anonymous). Any messages sent to the DVP may be used on our various social media channels for fundraising purposes.
DVP Power Is…
Talila “TL” Lewis, @talilalewis
We should all support DVP because it creates disabled media & organizes and hosts disability-centered conversations that others won’t dare.
The DVP has carved out a space to uplift and celebrate the lives & mourn the violent deaths of disabled people from marginalized communities the world over.
The DVP honors the free[dom] struggle of countless Deaf/Disabled low/no-income, indigenous, immigrant, Black/people of color. The individual’s identities and advocacy would otherwise be erased by powerful, mainstream disability organizations and media outlets.
Our communities have to invest in non-traditional individuals, projects and organizations who love & support those who exist at the margins of the margins of our communities. The DVP is one such project.
Carrie Wade, @wadetheory
The Disability Visibility Project is one of the first disability resources I ever found online, and it inspired me to start creating my own work — so I know from experience that it can help disabled folks find each other, clarify our perspectives, let us find a space to say what we want to say, and find resources and other people that are like us. It’s somewhere that I always recommend whenever people ask where to find more disability community, because that can be hard to come by (both virtually and in the offline world). So I always direct them to the DVP, knowing that it is a vibrant community of people that can share resources, start conversation, and bolster all of us up when we need it and galvanize us. I’m so excited to see how it expands and so proud of what it’s already done, and I’m excited to be part of the effort. I hope that you will donate so that this organization can grow and reach its full potential, and continue to be the amazing resource it is for disabled folks and our allies all across the internet — because it’s really important that we have that, especially now.
Sandy Ho, Boston, MA, @IntersectedCrip
The Disability Visibility Project (DVP) impacted my life because I was exposed to the lived experiences of disabled lives. As a child of immigrants, who is Asian-American, and a queer woman – I don’t witness or experience others who have narratives that are similar to mine.
The DVP helped to give me language and connections that have made my own disability experience less isolating, and separate from everyone else. It is also an authentic source where those who are not disabled can go to learn, and experience an unfiltered and unedited version of disabled lives.
We need more disability media and culture because it validates our existence in our society, community, and even at times in our own families where the only perspective of us are as ‘others.’
Support the DVP so that this work can continue kicking-ass and taking down names, literally. We don’t have enough of these resources or motivations where the recording of names and lives towards good power, and good trouble is happening. And you can help make that happen by giving!
Julia Bascom, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, @juststimming
The DVP is telling new stories about disability. Stories are important–the stories we tell ourselves and others shape the world we live in. The DVP puts people with disabilities in charge of our own stories, hands us the mic, and in so doing changes and multiplies the stories that are told about disability. And that changes the world.
Catherine Kudlick, Professor of History and Director, Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, @longmoreinst
The DVP is the best example of grassroots history. It gets more stories out there about a group that people know surprisingly little about, even though it makes up almost 1 in 5 Americans. Thanks to DVP, historians like me will have lots more to work with.🙂 And as someone with a disability, I fully appreciate how powerful it feels to get those stories out and know that others will find our common humanity in them. Now more than ever we need the DVP as a tool for fighting prejudice with images of real people living real lives with real hopes and fears.
I hope you join me in fully supporting this amazing endeavor however you can!
Maysoon Zayid, Cliffside Park, NJ, @maysoonzayid
I support the Disability Visibility Project because more authentic images of disability in entertainment will create more positive experiences with disability in real life. Give what you can🙂 $1, $5, $500, and if you can’t give—share!
Amy Sequenzia, @AmySequenzia
The Disability Visibility Project is where I find information about everything related to disabilities, all over the world. It is where I find my community, and where I learn about disabilities other than mine.
The Disability Visibility Project is about representation. It is for anyone who has something to say, or to type. It gives us space to speak up, it gives us a platform to organize and fight for our rights, and it reminds us that disability is intersectional.
Disabled people are often silenced, many times ignored, and don’t always find accessible places where we can participate in voicing our opinions about what matter to our lives. The DVP allows for every voice to be heard because the internet is accessible to us in ways the world of roads, buildings and sensory overload will never be.
Because of the DVP, disabled people are, indeed, more visible. More needs to be done and I hope that all of us can donate – even if it is a small monthly contribution – so that this project can grow. We all need this space, the opportunity to be the best we can be, being ourselves, sharing our perspective.
Leroy Moore, Berkeley, CA, @kriphopnation
As a Black disabled artist/activist/journalist and historian of people of color with disabilities, I love and need the beautiful work of Disability Visibility Project, DVP! DVP is not a nine to five, movement or a project, its our lives from our disabled ancestors to our disabled babies that must go on for our now & future. DVP helps to tell our art, politics, activism anad love. You need to support Disability Visibility Project.
Corbett Joan OToole, Richmond, CA, @CorbettOToole
DVP changed the way I think about disability community.
DVP’s Twitter chats are so amazing that I finally learned Twitter just to participate in them.
DVP brings depth and breath to every topic and that gives me new ideas.
I support DVP because they provide me with useful information, fresh ideas and a diversity of voices that enlarges my world.
I gave money to DVP because I need their voices to continue informing the world.
Nicola Griffith, Seattle, WA, @nicolaz
I’m Nicola Griffith, @Nicolaz, UK/US novelist with MS and accidental cultural activist living in Seattle. A while ago I wrote a blog post about coming out as cripple, and then started following disability activists on Twitter. I found Alice almost immediately because she and the DVP retweet so many vital links. I asked Twitter why there was no #CripLit hashtag for disabled writers to talk to each other and the world about our work, to share our stories. I was trying to figure out the best way to make that happen when Alice offered the Disability Visibility Project as partner.
I went to look at her other work–things like #CripTheVote–and was impressed. Between us we could do this! And between us we have. But it would not have happened, certainly not with the community strength already apparent, without Alice and the DVP.
The DVP is a wonderful resource. It absolutely needs our support. If you can afford a fancy cup of coffee once a month you can afford to give $3 to support the DVP. If you can afford one a week, how about $15? If you get one every morning? Hey, you do the math.
Why should you support DVP? Because without it our lives would be much less rich, much less connected. Culture is built from stories. Stories are communication. And DVP connects us so we can tell our stories, hear and be heard, know we are not alone.
In a world where crips are often not understood or believed, where every day we are marginalised, talking to each other is a life-saver. Sometimes literally. Also, we are people. We have as much to say–via fiction or poetry, journalism or memoir, academic investigations or songs–as any other human being. Think how much richer our culture would be with our voices, often unheard, added to the mix.
So support Alice. Support the DVP. For the price of a cup of coffee once a month you’re making the world a richer, more interesting place for all of us.
Jim LeBrecht, Oakland, California, @jimlebrecht
As someone who cares about and works for the rights of people with disabilities, I check out the Disability Visibility Project every day. It’s a place that I read stories about issues facing the disabled not just here in the US, but all over the world. And it’s a place that I can contribute stories, opinions and calls to action.
The DVP is a great resource that I send people to when I need to bring them up to speed on issues facing my community.
Now, more that ever, the disability community needs a place to send journalists and the media. Our community needs to amplify it’s voice because the hard earned advances we’ve accomplished in the past 35 years are under attack. You can’t gain support from the greater community if they don’t know or understand your issues. The fact of the matter, issues in the disability community affect everyone.
I urge you to support the Disability Visibility Project so that it can continue to work with other organizations throughout the world to protect and improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Vilissa K. Thompson, Winnsboro, SC, @VilissaThompson @RampYourVoice
For me, Disability Visibility Project provides a space for disabled people to learn about what’s going on with one another in America and globally, and how we can support each other’s efforts and demand acceptance and proaction to occur for our civil and human rights. One of the reasons I enjoy being a part of DVP is that I am able to keep abreast of the stories that impact our quality of life and inclusion, and to connect with those who are doing dynamic work in our community. Entities like DVP are so important, and it is imperative to support them so that its work continues. Providing a monthly donation will achieve that – our grassroots organizations are the backbone of the community, and their influences cannot be forgotten.
Kim Sauder, Toronto, Ontario, @crippledscholar
Media representation and cultural visibility is an important aspect of battling social inequality. If others don’t see people like you in the media, they often don’t expect to see you take up space outside of it either. Of equal importance is making sure that this visibility is authentic and portrays the nuanced realities of lived experience. The Disability Visibility Project has been instrumental in highlighting the voices and stories of disabled people in all of our varied embodiments and intersections. It has connected me to so many new voices and ideas. It has also been instrumental in helping to spread my own writing. Through the Disability Visibility Project I have also extended my personal network professionally, academically and socially. And this community of shared and diverse voices is also so important because in addition to adding those voices to the mainstream discourse that so often ignores disabled people it tells us that we are not alone.
My name is Kim Sauder, I am a disability scholar and blogger and I would like to ask you to please support the Disability Visibility Project. Please consider donating as little as $1 a month or more if you are able. The Disability Visibility Project provides an invaluable service in highlighting the voices of disabled people and your donation helps those voices be heard.
Hamza Jaka, Berkeley, CA and Fontana, WI, @HamzaAJaka
Why I love the DVP: The project is authentic to all facets of disability. Especially the aspects of our stories that aren’t told and people who are at the intersections of disability, race, gender, sex and sexuality. Every part of our stories we choose to share is shared, and is completely authentic. So much of disability history has been exclusive, rather than inclusive. The DVP is inclusive, beyond all doubts.
The DVP has impacted my life by introducing me to so many people and works that I needed to read. So many stories I’d never learned about, that I had to experience. It’s broadened my conception of what it means to be disabled, and what disability community really means. The DVP models inclusion, and makes sure people can share their lives in ways that very few projects have ever done.
Give as much as you can to the DVP because it is it imperative that it continues to exist. The DVP is an intersectional platform for every single disabled person, and we need it to continue to learn grow and share!
Michele Kaplan, New York City, NY, @RebelwheelsNYC
Besides being one of my main sources for disability and particularly intersectional disability content, Disability Visibility Project is really important because there are so many talented people in the disability community, but it’s nearly impossible to keep up with what everyone is doing. The Disability Visibility Project addresses that issue and is a great place to find out what’s happening on a creative/professional level in the community regardless of whether or not the disabled creator in question is well known or barely known at all.
Beth Haller, @mediadisdat
Hi, my name is Beth Haller. I’m the author of “Representing Disability in an Ableist World: Essays on Mass Media,” here to talk to you about your support for the Disability Visibility Project. Since its inception, this project has been really important at amplifying the voices of disabled people across the Internet. In addition, the project is also fantastic in the way it has gained media coverage in traditional news media for disability issues. It has really been an authentic conversation about disability on all kind of media platforms, especially social media, that was long overdue especially in American society and globally.
Grace Tsao, Chicago, IL
There are not many outlets for people with disabilities to be able to share their stories and views from their own perspective. Too much of what you see or hear in the media regarding disabled lives are written or told by able-bodied people so we often end up with stories that are either ableist or involve inspiration porn. The Disability Visibility Project gives voice to people with disabilities where we can tell our own stories, on our own terms. I’ve had the opportunity to share my story with the DVP and have been touched and amazed by how many people have been affected by my story and how it resonated with them. I have also learned so much about many issues affecting people with different types of disabilities from all over the world.
The DVP has been a central source for a wealth of knowledge I have gained about disability. In order for the DVP to continue to grow, expand, and reach even more people, it is imperative for us to contribute to this campaign that will help usher in the next phase of the DVP so it can continue to be an asset for our disability community as well as change narratives about disability in society. If you cannot afford much, even the smallest amount will make an impact. I know I will do my part.
Emily Ladau, Long Island, NY, @emily_ladau
The Disability Visibility Project (DVP) lives up to its name in bringing visibility to disability issues and the disability community. Knowing a project so devoted to disability representation exists is a source of empowerment for me, and gives me a source of strength as I work to advocate for disability rights. I believe there is immense value in supporting the DVP, because I know the DVP’s mission supports and respects my identity.
Mrs. Kerima Çevik, @kerima_cevik
Text transcript: The Disability Visibility Project shines like a beacon of hope to me, my family, and our community. It represents a resource that continually educates, brings a balanced perspective and allows the disabled community to voice triumphs, tragedies, their right to respect and dignity, and every aspect of the each multifaceted, complex life it reaches and amplifies. Alice Wong’s concept of curating a living history of our community while amplifying as many disabled voices as possible is a very healing and uplifting action in a very ableist, hateful, and divisive time. Please support the continuation of this project. It is my belief that for many of us, our very lives depend on having our voices heard and understood through projects like these.
Cheryl Green, Portland, OR, @WhoAmIToStopIt
The Disability Visibility Project is one of the best places on Facebook that centers stories of first-hand disability experience from a cultural perspective. The context is always about rights and social justice, not a focus on cure, eradicating disability, or overcoming the medical odds.
It’s meant the world to me to know where to get news and cultural stories curated by an actual disabled person of color. True social change won’t come if the white-dominated, non-disabled-led non-profits with resources continue to get center stage.
I love having an online community to visit with where I know people are truly interested and concerned about disability as part of social justice movements. Alice Wong does an outstanding job curating the posts and articles and keeping people focused on dialogue, not arguments.
There’s nothing better than having a place to find disability-related articles that aren’t going to overwhelm me with suggestions of cures, unsolicited advice, or other topics that distract us from disability rights and disability justice.
Disability Visibility Project has a huge reach. I often find articles in the Facebook group that I can share with my own network to expand the reach and get conversations going that otherwise wouldn’t happen.
Disability community is tired of being misrepresented in the media. Non-disabled people are tired of feeling like they’ll “always say the wrong thing” to us because they don’t know much about disability. The answer is more disabled-made media and disabled-made journalism. DVP is the best place I’ve found to get that content and amplify it online.
Emily Beitikis, Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability
My name’s Emily Beitiks, and I’m the Associate Director at the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability. We are very grateful for the Disability Visibility Project and everything that they do. I myself got to participate in their StoryCorps project and got to do an interview with Stanley Yarnell, who was a doctor for many, many years, and also developed a vision impairment while he was in the medical profession. Since doing his StoryCorps interview, he’s been contacted by a lot of young students who are trying to go to med school with vision impairments, and it’s just been a really great thing to get to share his story and have it out there. That’s due to the Disability Visibility Project and the push that they did to capture stories like Stanley’s. I know that everything that they do ahead is going to be really exciting too, so I’ll be making sure to make a donation. Thank you.
Mia Mingus, Oakland, CA, @miamingus
DVP has become one of those rare political projects that is truly about community and I think this is why it is has continued to grow so much and resonate with so many. By creating much-needed disabled media that is accessible and reflects so many different facets of the disability community, DVP is filling an important gap and creating an important public platform for the disability community. I love the Disability Visibility Project for too many reasons to list and I encourage everyone who can to support their work! Supporting DVP is an investment in disabled media, community and legacy for years and years to come.
Ken Stein, Berkeley, CA
Disability Exists. It is a demographic that is part of everyone’s life. It needs be on the table for public policy planning. Its impacts and significances increase exponentially across intersectional characteristics like gender, race, and sexual orientation. And yet, it continues to be an invisible demographic, in spite of the fact that it is the largest civil-rights-protected minority in this country and around the world.
DVP is enabling people with disabilities to *finally* tell their stories. They are stories that need to be told, and stories that need to be heard.
For centuries, the voices of people with disabilities were silenced. DVP is a voice that needs to continue be heard, and is an organization that is worthy of all of our support.
Ingrid Tischer, Berkeley, CA, @IngridTischer
People with disabilities have a hidden history. I always knew this was true in my nation’s history and sometimes within my own family. But it was recording stories with the Disability Visibility Project with my friend and then with my husband that I realized that some of my history was hidden even to me. Telling our stories creates a powerful cultural narrative, tradition, and legacy. But coaxing them out, organizing them, and archiving them takes hard work. Making sure people know that our stories are there to be heard and shared takes resources. Our history is worthy. It’s more than worth a gift to help underwrite its preservation.
American Association of People with Disabilities, @AAPD
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is proud to support the Disability Visibility Project because every story deserves to be told. The work of the DVP is critical to amplifying the diverse life experiences and culture of the disability community.
Steve Brown and Lillian Gonzales Brown, Institute on Disability Culture Co-Founders, @disculture
We are thrilled to support the Disability Visibility Project (DVP). Why? It’s simple: Our goals and vision complement each other. The DVP focus on being an “online community dedicated to recording, amplifying, and sharing disability stories and culture,” and the Institute on Disability Culture (IDC) mission of “promoting pride in the history, activities and cultural identity of individuals with disabilities throughout the world,” might even be vision statements and historical reflections and evolution of disability culture from the 1990s (IDC) to the 2010s (DVP). Sharing our stories has become more urgent today than ever. We need to show the world we are people who need to be recognized for our inherent dignity and value and be supported in finding and sharing the best of ourselves. And that’s exactly what the DVP does and why we are ardent supporters—and hope you will be too.
Haben Girma, @HabenGirma
The DVP facilitates critical conversations on disability. It’s a valuable resource for all of us. We need the DVP.