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Disability Arts

September 26, 2012

I remember the first time I saw my life as a mother of young children portrayed so exactly that I caught my breath. I was watching a play and I felt a strange mix of being exposed and being understood. I will try to find the title of the play and the play writer and post it later.

I remember the next time my experience of motherhood was again perfectly described. It was a scene from the novel “The Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” by Rebecca Wells. I also remember the first time my experience of depression was described using words I would have used. That was in “The Lost Garden” by Helen Humphreys.

I have been trying to find the words to describe why I find the disability arts so interesting. I think it is because I get to see disabled people. I believe I have mentioned in previous posts that disabled people are often absent from the places I frequent (other than my place of work). This bothers me. How can we assist to remove disabling barriers (physical and attitudinal) if we can’t see them? How can we see the barriers, if we don’t see disabled people?

I worked with a personal life coach (Harold Feddersen) for approximately 6 months about six months ago. During one of our last sessions, I asked him for feedback about an area I continued to need to be aware of. He suggested that my difficulty seeing a wide range of possibilities may be limiting to my life. I think disability arts allows me to imagine possibilities that I may never have imagined otherwise – like scuba diving in a wheelchair (see my September 6 post – Freeing or stigmatizing). Disability arts contributes to the imagination and possibilities of our culture. Please share any disability arts links you come across and I will do the same. Thanks in advance.

Sheila

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