The disability story is pervasive. It transcends all races, genders, sexual orientations, economic backgrounds and many more. It is a common thread that links diverse groups together. It is an undercurrent of life itself. We associate life with ability - the ability to get up, do things, be a productive member of society. On the flip side, disability is bad, because people perceive it as a loss of quality of that thing we call life.
The Victor Pineda Foundation has recently launched a project called It's Our Story. Basically It's Our Story is a collection of interviews with disability activists and leaders young and old. It combines Justin Dart's Discrimination Diaries with new interviews conducted in the past few years. It delves deep into the disability experience in America. It pieces together stories of pain, stories of hope, and stories of freedom, stories of activists coming together to free our people. People of all different walks of life (pun not intended) linked by a common thread of disability. It's a beautiful mosaic of voices from the past and present.
I've been curiously drawn to the It's Our Story project ever since I first discovered it. I'm fascinated by all those voices, all those stories. It's like grandparents and parents of disability rights passing these stories down to their children. I hope to one day share my stories with the world so that young activists can learn and be better for it. The It's Our Story team is creating an archive of these interviews so that they will never be forgotten. Maybe I'm a hopeless Star Trek fanatic, and maybe I'm naive, but I truly believe in Gene Roddenberry's vision of a world with no discrimination. (Can't you tell I've been watching too much Trek lately?) Maybe, one day, some young person will stumble upon these videos just as I have, and learn from the past, carry that with them, so the world will never forget the horrors of what we have been through.
I'm posting the trailer video below for all to watch. To see more, head on over to http://www.itsourstory.org/ and be sure to check out the rest of the May DBC at Barriers, Bridges, and Books.