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Chapter 2: Disability

The Voices Project: Chapter 2

 

Click the following link to check out The Voices Project: Disability Video:

The Voices:Disability Video

 

Disability is the second chapter of a psychology project that explores society's attitudes toward individuals considered "different".  Fifteen Teacher Education Department (TED) majors interviewed teenagers, college students, and adults with disabilities--and their family members--to learn about how having a disability has affected their lives.  The individuals who were interviewed had conditions including deafness, blindness, stroke, spinal cord injury, stuttering, spina bifida, dwarfism, arthrogryposis, femoral hypoplasia, cerebral palsy, and more.  Students wrote stories of the lives of their interviewees which were integrated into a staged reading program presented by 24 readers in the Lemmond Auditorium of Misericordia University on April 26, 2012 to an audience of over 400 people.  Dr. Melissa Sgroi, a faculty member in the Communications Department, joined the previous writing team of faculty.

"What the project conveys is that, for the most part, the greatest limitations experienced by people with disabilities are not due to the disability itself.  They don't see themselves as disabled.  The label and limitations come from the social and emotional barriers placed on them by people in society and the constraints of the physical environment," Dr. Nordstrom reported.

The stories were so powerful that the program was picked up by WVIA-TV, a local affiliate of the Public Broadcasting System that broadcasts to a 17-county radius of Northeastern Pennsylvania.  The program was video recorded live on August 18, 2012 at WVIA Studios and will be aired through November, December and January on the WVIA station.  The first four broadcast dates will be Monday, Nov. 19 (7:00 pm), Thanksgiving Day-Nov. 22 (8:00 pm), Sunday, Nov. 25 (3:00 pm), and Monday, December 10 (7:00 pm).