Sunday, April 23, 2006

Announcing Disability Studies, the PHILLY Meetup!

Disability Studies, the PHILLY Meetup is a new initiative of the Disability Studies Program at Temple University. The meetups provide an opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to gather together, share resources and have a positive impact on today’s society. We welcome people who are self-identified as disabled, allies, academics, activists from different social identity movements, as well as those who may have a curiosity about the rhythms of today’s disability culture. Everyone’s voice will add to the depth and breadth of understanding about issues impacting disability communities.

We formed this meetup to meet the following goals:
1. To promote the Disability Studies Program at Temple University - innovative academic courses on the disability experience in the United States and across the world.
2. To enlighten and expand opportunities for disability cultural expression.
3. Facilitate people’s ability to see the political in the personal [and vice versa] and pass along lessons learned from one generation to the next.
4. To demonstrate the career opportunities (beyond health care) that exist with an enhanced understanding of the disability experience.
5. Offer a one-stop portal for busy people who are looking for ways to connect.

The Disability Studies Meetup Group shares the same general purpose of the Temple University's Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies. We seek to move beyond the accumulation of stories, and towards producing results based upon systematic, scholarly research. While we don’t want to limit the topics that might be discussed, we propose that some attention be given to the following: independence, body image, feminism, economics, employment, education, media representation, art and cultural events, sexuality & relationships, the right to live, the right to die, parenting, coalition building around identity and economic issues.

Meetups afford people a variety of modes for participation. You can participate on our discussion boards as well as attending our live social gatherings. We are also open to other ideas for breaking down communication barriers. JUST LET US KNOW!

Disability Studies, the Philly Meetup, is the first of its kind. We hope that community activists in other cities will benefit from and eventually celebrate the lessons learned from this pioneering group. Use to create and market Disability Studies, Disability Rights and American Sign Language Meetups in your community!