Active (ist)

I am crazy busy, but I have to tell you this: Recently, I was asked to help two arts organizations with grant applications for funds to provide accessibility, by describing my own experiences and providing information on methods of accommodating all levels of deafness.  I’m very, very pleased to be able to report that the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art has received funding, and will provide both CART (Computer Assisted Real Time Captioning) and an American Sign Language interpreter for the Art of the Book in the 21st Century Symposium on March 25 and 26. (And I’m so excited that I’m personally going to be able to fully experience my fellow speakers’ presentations!)

This morning I sent off an additional letter of support to be included in the application of the second organization, a stellar residency program I’ve experienced twice (I’m not mentioning it by name; I don’t know if that would affect their chances). I have high hopes that they’ll also receive funding. I wholeheartedly commend these two organizations for making access a priority, for wanting to educate and to be educated. As I wrote in the letter: “(this residency program) is highly renown for its international community, for the enriching interaction between creative representatives of widely varied cultures; those of us with sensory disabilities also inhabit unique worlds. Offering us the tools we need not only accommodates us, it allows our colleagues to easily interact with our worlds, promoting the same kind of understanding already fostered by an active international exchange.  Including us makes for a truly global experience; because, when everything is said and done: all humans are only temporarily abled.”

I’ve also been invited to become a part of an advisory network for the residency program, and I’ve accepted. All of this work, while unpaid, contributes to personal success as well, in terms of helping to craft the life I want to lead: one that is open, embracing and inclusive, further dispelling clouds of past prejudice, which is really only fear of difference, which is ultimately a condition of ignorance, sadly, in some cases, willful ignorance.

Elsewhere: The DCCA has published an online catalog of The Book: A Contemporary View.  I love that it has an ISBN number, even though it only exists online (though soon you will be able to download it if you so desire).  That’s interesting in terms of the ongoing conversation about the future of books of any kind. Saturday’s Portable Papermaking class was great, but I was too busy to take a single photo. Many thanks to Evanston Print for their help and the loan of their silkscreen-making facilities on Sunday, and to Abecedarian Gallery, who’ve placed another of my bookworks into a collection.  Now, back to work; I hit the road in four days.


4 thoughts on “Active (ist)

  1. excellent!!! advocacy for the other-abled is so necessary and proper. that sounds stodgy, but i feel i am often in the position of explaining disability (e.d.) to others. there is no reason to apologize, only to explain to educate.

    this is beautiful, melissa: Including us makes for a truly global experience; because, when everything is said and done: all humans are only temporarily abled.

    don’t forget to sleep!

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