As the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act approaches next year, a new project is launching to encourage people within the disability community to share their stories.
The effort known as the Disability Visibility Project is kicking off Monday as a community partnership with StoryCorps, a national nonprofit that allows everyday people to record casual, one-on-one conversations in an effort to preserve history. The recordings are frequently featured on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”
StoryCorps’ recording booth in San Francisco is making sessions available between July 10 and Dec. 13 specifically for members of the disability community to record their stories. Additional times are expected to be added leading up to the ADA’s 25th anniversary in July 2015.
What’s more, recordings produced at StoryCorps’ booths in Chicago and Atlanta as well as through the organization’s MobileBooth, which travels to communities across the country, can also be tagged for inclusion in the project.
“The history of people with disabilities rarely appears in textbooks,” said Alice Wong who’s spearheading the effort. “I’ve had the good fortune to meet so many fascinating and amazing people with disabilities who have been fighting for disability rights for decades. I believe their stories and the stories of everyday Americans with disabilities should be preserved.”
For the Disability Visibility Project, Wong said she envisions people talking about how their lives have changed since the passage of the ADA, what they hope for people with disabilities in the future and other relevant topics.
Individuals who participate in StoryCorps go home with a broadcast-quality CD of their conversation. What’s more, all recordings are preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington and Wong said recordings made for the Disability Visibility Project will be identified as part of a distinct collection.