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Thursday, March 6, 2008


By Steve Brown

I like stories. I like reading stories, telling stories, and encouraging others to tell stories. This is one of the reasons I first got involved with disability culture. The first workshop I did related to disability culture was titled "Speakers of Movement" and encouraged both panelists and audience members to talk about stories. The first poem I consciously wrote about disability culture was called, "Tell Your Story." I've edited two forums in the first three volumes of RDS. The first, in the first RDS issue was called "Disability Culture – A Decade of Change," and included a multitude of stories. One of the reasons I think it is so vital for us to tell our stories is our unfortunate high mortality rate. David Pfeiffer, our colleague, co-editor, renowned disability studies scholar, and one of the inspirations for beginning RDS, died before we could publish the first issue. Tanis Doe, one of the contributors to that forum, and a wonderful artist, advocate and scholar, passed on not long afterward. So it is probably no surprise that the other forum I edited, in the last issue of Volume 2 contained a forum was called, "Sharing Stories, Autobiography and Disability." It included articles and poetry from three countries. That issue also saw our first published article in another language, French. We just posted the first of two issues about disability and music. This is another way for us to tell our stories and my contribution in one of these issues is about artists with disabilities (mostly) talking about life experiences in an art form that connects with lots of people.