People with disabilities team up with university students to create person-centered digital stories.
Combining efforts of schools and local community agencies serving people with disabilities to break down communication barriers.
What problem does your idea solve?
Discrimination limits employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Including people with disabilities in the university setting to raise awareness of typical students and increase self-esteem of PWDs. PWDs have gone on to participate in the work force, some designing assistive technology, such as a stylus to enable people with finger mobility issues to use keyboards and touch-pads. Students have changed their professional goals from "me-me, I-I" to service professions.
Explain your idea
Communication is education. By enabling people with and without disabilities to work closely together on a project oriented course, all involved not only get an important story out, but also widen their personal horizons.
Society benefits. More and more industries demand experience with disability before employment. People with disabilities enhance their skills and self-esteem sufficiently to enter the workforce, creating a larger purchasing market and taxpayer base. The PWD designed and manufactured stylus for people with finger dexterity issues, enabling use of an iPad and adapted for painters, is now patented and a thriving business. Others are winning jobs! All learn the importance of independence.
Here is Paul Tudisco's Disability Studies digital story focusing on the release of his Limitless Stylus, which he designed and produced with his NYU-Tandon teammates. It is now officially patented.
ADAPT Community Network, formerly United Cerebral Palsy of NYC, is the original partner for the experiential Dis Studies course. We have been working together for five years, or in school-time, ten semesters.
HeartShare Human Services became the second section of the Dis Studies course in 2015.
How is your idea unique?
Including people with disabilities in a course designated as Disability Studies makes learning unforgettable--for all involved, as reported in end-of-semester participant self-reflections (see attachment).
Some courses have students visit PWDs at their residences or day programs. Having PWDs attend class in a university setting includes them in a part of society they don't typically see and that rarely sees them.
Tell us more about you
As a university senior lecturer, my intention is to share this method of teaching to increase worldwide awareness of the abilities of people living with disabilities. By making the "invisible visible" we are showing that we all can learn; we all want work and love. We are all variations on the theme of being human. http://engineering.nyu.edu/people/allan-b-goldstein
What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?
Reaching other learning communities.
Where will your idea be implemented?
Experience in Implementation Country(ies)
Yes, for more than one year.
Expertise in Sector
I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.
We don't intend to register / don't need to in order to implement our idea successfully.
Mature Growth/Currently Operating: I am currently implementing this idea but may still be iterating.