Alice Wong, founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project (Photo: Eddie Hernandez Photography)
One in four people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent—but all are underrepresented in media, popular culture, and art. In the 30th anniversary year of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Alice Wong, a disabled activist, media maker, and research consultant, rallied together the voices of today’s disabled community and culture in her collection, Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century. As founder of The Disability Visibility Project, Wong keeps the conversations going with an active online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture.
Beth Ziebarth, director of Access Smithsonian, leads the conversation with Wong; Riva Lehrer, artist and author of Golem Girl (One World); and Disability Visability contributor s.e. smith, to discuss intersectionality in art, design, and the museum world through inclusive design and representation.
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century (Vintage), edited by Alice Wong, is available for purchase.
We welcome everyone to attend our programming. American Sign Language interpretation and real-time captioning (CART) will be provided for this program. If you have questions about the accessibility of this program or need to request additional accommodations, please contact Rich Ching at ChingR@si.edu. Two weeks advance notice is appreciated for requesting additional accommodations.
More about the panelists:
Beth Ziebarth has a personal interest and professional responsibility in advocacy for people with disabilities. She currently serves as the director of Access Smithsonian. In her position, Beth develops and implements accessibility policy and guidelines for the Institution’s 19 museums, the National Zoo, and nine research centers, ensuring that the Smithsonian’s 30 million annual visitors experience a welcoming environment that accommodates individuals of all ages and abilities. Her work includes staff training on accessibility and disability topics, facility and program technical assistance, direct accessibility services, outreach and collaboration, and five signature programs for people with disabilities.
Alice Wong is a disabled activist, media maker, and research consultant based in San Francisco, California. She is the editor of the collection Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century and is the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture. Alice is also the host and co-producer of the Disability Visibility podcast and co-partner in a number of collaborations such as #CripTheVote and Access Is Love. From 2013 to 2015, Alice served as a member of the National Council on Disability, an appointment by President Barack Obama.
s.e. smith is a Northern California-based writer and journalist. Her focus as a National Magazine Award-winning essayist and journalist is on social issues such as labor organizing, disability, death and dying, feminism, LGBQTIA issues, and cultural analysis. Their work is grounded in lived experience, intersectional principles, and providing mentoring and support to emerging writers.
Riva Lehrer is an artist, writer and curator who focuses on the socially challenged body. She is best known for representations of people whose physical embodiment, sexuality, or gender identity have long been stigmatized. Riva recently rendered a portrait of Alice entitled Zoom Portraits: Alice Wong. Her memoir, Golem Girl, is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography.
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