NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT: CREATIVE GROWTH ART STUDIO

"Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California, is the world’s first and largest nonprofit center dedicated to giving artists with disabilities the space to let their talents shine. Since 1974, the center has served hundreds of artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities who lacked formal education in the arts. The studio helps to provide the tools, the space and the inspiration needed to grow into professional, exhibited artists. Today, artists represented by Creative Growth have been invited to the Venice Biennale, have had their works acquired by MoMA, and remain in high demand among collectors around the world." - Website: Creative Growth Art Studio

ACCESSIBILITY ALLYSHIP


DISABILITY IS A DIVERSE COMMUNITY!

Disability is a diverse identity. Disability can be visible, invisible, chronic, temporary, or a central part of one's identity & lived experience. The disability identity is also intersectional and is the one identity that moves through all other identities such as race, culture, class, gender, age, and nationality.

Around 15 percent of the world's population, or an estimated 1 billion, live with disabilities (WHO).

Allyship is working to create a barrier-free world where people with disabilities can live, work, love, study, and imagine life to their fullest human potential. It will take all of us in each of our communities to create accessibility paths. An accessible world is for ALL OF US.


INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS - CREATE AN ACCESSIBILITY PATH!

"Disability is never the barrier, it's the environment that is the barrier."

Haben Girma, Lawyer/ Disability Rights Activist

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT

"Meet, Haben Girma, a BIPOC, Ethiopian woman who is the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben Girma is a human rights lawyer advancing disability justice. President Obama named her a White House Champion of Change. She received the Helen Keller Achievement Award, a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and TIME100 Talks. President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Chancellor Angela Merkel have all honored Haben. Haben believes disability is an opportunity for innovation, and she teaches organizations the importance of choosing inclusion." -

Website: Haben Girma

BUILD YOUR ACCESSIBILITY TOOLKIT!

Stay informed about the types of accessibility needs your students may need. Here is a brief list of accessibility examples:

  • Vision - Blind/Low vision (large print or assistive braille technology)

  • Auditory - Close captioning / sign language

  • Mobility - Wheelchair access, address access barriers to community events.

  • Technology - Adaptive technology for study & learning

  • Chronic Conditions - Pacing, place to rest, or private space to attend to health management needs. (ex: diabetics - glucose control).

  • Service Animals - Space for service animals & guidelines for other students regarding boundaries.

*Meeting accessibility needs requires creativity, innovation, and problem-solving. It may be a new experience for both you and your student, stay curious and be open to learning!

REPRESENTATION MATTERS

Artists have many layered identities and art educators need to present them as such.

Representing diverse artists in your curriculum is only part of an Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist curriculum. It needs to be more than a symbolic effort and art educators need to take into account intersectionality when introducing these artists to students.
How do aspects of an artist’s social and political identities (ex. gender, sex, race, class, sexuality, religion, ability, physical appearance, etc.) intersect within their work? This is a list of artists with varying disabilities and it is powerful to learn how their disability lens informs their art-making. Engaging children with artists who look like them, have similar experiences, and come from similar backgrounds is a great source of inspiration and empowerment. By reflecting their own identities, experiences, and motivations (mirrors) and also providing insight into the identities, experiences, and motivations of others (windows) can move students toward more nuanced perceptions of the world around them. Discover new artists to add to your curriculum.

PAINTER

Agnus Martin Schizophrenia

PAINTER

Alison Lapper

Mobility/Physical

Disability

PAINTER

Christy Brown
Mobility/Physical Disability

PAINTER

Chuck Close
Mobility/Physical Disability
Wheel Chair User

MULTI-MEDIA ARTIST

Emily Barker

(CPRS) Pain Syndrome

Mobility/Physical Disability

Wheelchair User

SCULPTURE ARTIST

Faith Bebbington

Cerebral Palsy


PAINTER

Frida Kahlo
Mobility/Physical Disability
Wheel Chair User

VISUAL ARTIST

Gilles Tréhi

Cognitive Disability

Autism

VISUAL ARTIST

Jeremy Sicile-Kira
Cognitive Disability Autism and Synesthesia

SOFT SCULPTURES

Judith Scott

Cognitive Disability

Down Syndrome

Deaf

PAINTER

Kusama

Psychiatric Disability

TYPEWRITER ARTIST

Paul Smith

Cerebral Palsy

MOUTH PAINTER

Moses Hamilton

Mobility/Physical Disability

Wheelchair User

VISUAL ARTIST

Stephen Wiltshire

Cognitive Disability

Autism

VISUAL ARTIST

Tommy Hollenstein
Mobility/Physical Disability

VISUAL ARTISTS & PERFORMANCE ARTISTS

Queer Disability and the Arts

Queer MUTI-DISCIPLINARY ARTIST

Wy Joung Kou

Chronic Illness

SMALL SCULPTURES

Willard Wigan
Cognitive Disability
Autism

THE ART & DISABILITY LENS

DOUBLE TAKE : ART & DISABLITY

"Look at art through the lens of disability and consider representation, historical context, and identity with Conor Moynihan, Andrew Mellon Fellow, Prints, Drawings, and Photographs and Leon Hilton, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Brown University. Join the discussion to explore the intersectionality of featured art and artists through the lens of a disability, neurodiversity, and performativity." - THE RISD MUSEUM

DISABILITY - ACCESSIBILITY ACTIVIST ORGANIZATIONS

Disability Equity & Museums

Artist with Disabilities

Color Accessibility

Joy Accessibility:

Equity & Art

Kindling Studios

Art & Accessibility in Public Spaces

PBS News Hour: 30 years after ADA, inaccessibility persists for the disabled

Bridges, CIL

Arts Accessbility

Intersectionality, Disability and the Expressive Arts

The Arts & Public Health

Disastershock.com

Mouth & Foot Painters

CBS News

WHAT IS ABELISM?

"Ableism is the discrimination of and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior. At its heart, ableism is rooted in the assumption that disabled people require ‘fixing’ and defines people by their disability. Like racism and sexism, ableism classifies entire groups of people as ‘less than,’ and includes harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and generalizations of people with disabilities."

WEBSITE: Access Living

"The medical model of disability differences should be ‘fixed’ or changed by medical and other treatments, even when the impairment or difference does not cause pain or illness. The medical model looks at what is ‘wrong’ with the person and not what the person needs. It creates low expectations and leads to people losing independence, choice, and control in their own lives".

WEBSITE: Access Living

"The social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organized, rather than by a person’s impairment or difference. It looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people. When barriers are removed, disabled people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives".

WEBSITE: Access Living

DISABLISM IS AN ISM!

"We all need to partner to changing attitudes towards disabled persons. Barriers are not just physical. Attitudes found in society, based on prejudice or stereotype (also called disablism), also disable people from having equal opportunities to be part of society".

WEBSITE: Access Living

"Person first language emphasizes the person before the disability, for example, “person who is blind” or “people with spinal cord injuries.” Identity first language puts the disability first in the description, e.g., “disabled” or “autistic." Person first or identity first language is equally appropriate depending on personal preference. When in doubt, ask the person which they prefer.

It is important to note that while person first language is often used in more formal writing, many people with disabilities, particularly younger people, are choosing to use identity-first language. How a person chooses to self-identify is up to them, and they should not be corrected or admonished if they choose not to use person-first language." WEBSITE: ASKEARN.ORG

READ MORE: Person First vs. Identity First

PERSON FIRST LANGUAGE

Remember that our society is always evolving. As an ally we need to commit to listening, hearing, and

learning on how a specific community is asking to be seen, heard, and understood.

Mobility/Physical Disability: Wheelchair user, Physically disabled, Person with a mobility or physical disability

Emotional Disability: Person with an emotional disability

Cognitive Disability: Cognitively/Developmentally disabled, Person with a cognitive/developmental disability

Short Stature/Little Person: Someone of short stature, Little Person

Health Conditions Victim: Survivor, Someone “living with” a specific disability (i.e. “someone living with cancer or AIDS”)


*Terminology cited from "National Youth Leadership Network's Respectful Disability Language"

Blind/Visually Impaired: A person who is blind or Low vision, vision loss

Deaf, or Hard-of-hearing: A person who is deaf or hard -of- hearing

Speech/Communication: Person with a speech /communication disability

Learning Disability: Cognitive disability, Person with a learning or cognitive disability

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Autistic or Person with Autism

Mental Health Disability: Person with a psychiatric disability, Person with a mental health disability

ARTS ACCESSIBILITY ACTIVISM

REJI MATHEW, Ph.D., LCSW, REAT

EXPRESSIVE ARTS ADVOCATE/EDUCATOR

I am an award-winning expressive arts educator/advocate. The expressive arts are central to my worldview, psychotherapy work, life, and arts activism.
Thinking and working integratively are innate to my intellectual inquiry and creative art-making method. I am an intermodal artist. I create work in multiple forms: digital art, animation film shorts, narratology/storytelling, and visual art.
I grew up in a world that was not accessible. The mission of the ARAT Arts Accessibility Project is to provide education, resources, and examples of arts accessibility to support allyship in building accessibility paths for the broad, unique, imaginative disability community.

I will also be interviewing amazing artists across the disability community to share stories of their unique Imagination & art-making processes.

In Creativity,

Reji Mathew

This is a growing resource and a work in progress. If you would like to recommend additional artists or resources, or page accessibility requests, please e-mail us at antiracistartteachers@gmail.com

We thank you for your collaboration!