It is always a challenge to translate formal principles into the kind of daily activities that are able to shift cultural perceptions. What seems obvious to people who support and agree with the principles outlined in The Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access (i.e. the declaration) is not inherently clear to people who question the need for these principles.
By sharing stories about the impact that technology can and does have on the lives of people with cognitive disabilities, their families, and their communities, we hope to help pave the way for acceptance and access.
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media apps. Its ability to effectively tell and share a story thru pictures and simple language makes it a natural choice to showcase the stories that our DIGS recipients are excited to share. Check out our first Instagram Story below and see if it doesn’t help you see the world thru a different set of eyes.
Recently I visited The Arc of the Capital’s Digital Media Lab in Austin, TX, where I heard a story that reminded me of why the declaration (The Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access) is so important.
When I noticed this self-portrait on display in the lab, I asked Amber Nelson, the lab’s Program Manager about it. She replied that while the staff was proud of all the art created in the lab, this particular self-portrait inspired her daily. She continued that this particular artist, Gwen, had wanted to learn how to create digital art, but she had never used a computer. The reason she had never used a computer was that she did not know how to read. In becoming an artist and learning how to use the programs that allowed her to create her art, she also learned how to read. Gwen used technology to create art and possibilities for her world that had never existed before.
There are almost 30 million people in the United States with cognitive disabilities, how could their world expand with access to technology and information?