“I am me. I am not defined by my disability.”

Author(s)

Angela Kyle

Faculty Mentor(s)

Terri Reddout (Communication)

Abstract

A set of visual stories composed of photographs and capturing portraits of participants. Bringing awareness to my audience that people with disabilities are people first and not defined by their disability. Written descriptions of individuals with name, age, favorite things, and interesting facts about the person. The disability that they have is not discussed in this part of the presentation. Individuals that attend the presentation are asked to think about if they have a connection or common interest with a person introduced. Select details shared that you feel you can relate to and that pushes participants to select an individual introduced to them. Once a person attending the presentation chooses who they feel they have the most in common with or want to get to know more, the visual component to the project is shown. A gallery of black and white photos will complete the presentation with the visual story of everyone. Keep in mind some disabilities are visible, and some are not, and are considered as invisible.
The next piece of the presentation is information about the disability and how it relates to them, how they live with it while attending college, working, or raising a family. What information is communicated will depend on everyone’s desire to share.
Spreading awareness about disabilities, making them less intimidating due to lack of knowledge. Doing that by opening conversations about disabilities. Communication is key when the ultimate goal is awareness. The importance and key factor to grab the audience’s attention is a visual story.

Keywords: Visual, Connection, Disability, Diversity

Presentation

2 thoughts on ““I am me. I am not defined by my disability.””

  1. I was just thinking about how much simply having a variety of people with disabilities in my social media network contributed to reducing my stigmatic perception of them over the years. Social media platforms like Twitter and Tumblr expose you to these individuals via shared interests, similar to the way you’ve structured your presentation here. Then, once you follow them long-term, you get to know more about how their disability impacts their lives and ways that you can advocate for others like them. Maybe I’ll do more research on this phenomenon and present it next year. 🙂

  2. I am so glad to have been able to participate in your project, Angela — I’m so proud of you! It was really interesting to see how you correlated your Communications class with our love of disability awareness. Amazing job! <3 🙂

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