If I could type this a million times, I would type: THANK YOU!!! 

THANK YOU to all the people who supported the Disability Visibility Project (DVP) when it launched last June.

THANK YOU to the amazing people at StoryCorps who supported this community partnership with genuine enthusiasm and care.

12 months went by fast and it is thanks to the disability community in the United States and abroad who embraced the idea that people with disabilities have stories worth telling and lives that matter.

The Disability Visibility Project coincided with the year-long lead up to the 25th anniversary of the ADA, using it as a springboard to have people with disabilities reflect about their past, present and future. The response was resoundingly clear: there is a need for people to tell their stories in their own words centered on the lived experience of disability.

Since June 2014, the Disability Visibility Project…

And this huge thing happened on July 20, 2015:

Image of President Barack Obama in the Blue Room of the White House standing next to Alice Wong who is on a screen in a telepresence robot.
President Barack Obama greets Alice Wong, Disability Visibility Project Founder, via robot, during the Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary reception in the Blue Room of the White House, July 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
This photograph is provided by THE WHITE HOUSE as a courtesy and may be printed by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use only. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not otherwise be reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of the White House Photo Office. This photograph may not be used in any commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.
This photograph is provided by THE WHITE HOUSE as a courtesy and may be printed by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use only. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not otherwise be reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of the White House Photo Office. This photograph may not be used in any commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Here’s a summary of the White House visit: https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/2015/07/21/ada25-at-the-white-house/

And a video from the White House about the ADA celebration:

Looking ahead 2015-2016:

  • Fall 2015: Exciting opportunities for the disability communities in Seattle, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Tuscon when the StoryCorps Mobile Tour arrives to record the stories of everyone in those cities.
  • The Disability Visibility Project is extended until December 31, 2015. The DVP will continue to add new content from the archive throughout 2016, but outreach and collection of oral histories will end in 2015.  There is the possibility of re-starting the DVP at a future date.
  • Winter 2015: DVP will receive the entire collection of stories as the project winds down. 2016 will be focused on the gradual posting of short audio clips with text transcript for each oral history on this website.
  • The DVP will also look for funding opportunities to finance the transcription of the audio clips and other costs associated with our work.
  • The DVP will develop creative materials featuring stories that can be used for educators, activists, students, and the general public such as comic strips, lesson guides, toolkits, etc, separate from the DVP interviews.

In conclusion

It’s a little strange thinking the concept for this project started about 2 years ago and how things have taken a life of its own. This has been the most exciting endeavor I’ve ever taken on.

I’m humbled to be on this most excellent adventure and that there are so many people along for the ride.

Onward and upward!!

Alice Wong, Founder and Project Coordinator

 

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