Every month we celebrate a different community and the contributions of one member to the work of creating a more inclusive world. In May, as part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we spotlight someone we admire for her disability justice and advocacy work.
Two of our KIT Inclusionistas (Torrie Dunlap and Delfa Garcia) both chose to spotlight Alice Wong, a disabled activist and media maker and the Founder/Director of the Disability Visibility Project.
I first became aware of Alice Wong when she partnered with NPR’s StoryCorps in 2014. In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, she collected stories from hundreds of disabled Americans to document a missing history and help the disability community take back the narrative. The popularity of the project transcended the one year timeline and became a larger effort. Wong launched a website to continue collecting stories as an ongoing effort. In 2017, she started a podcast to share oral histories, and in June 2020 the Disability Visibility book was published, an anthology of essays on a variety of disability-related topics.
I read the book last month, so my admiration for the activist work of Alice Wong is fresh in my mind. Wong has also served in leadership roles for a variety of organizations, including being appointed to the National Council on Disability by President Obama. A fun fact is that she is the first person to visit the White House and meet the President via telepresence robot! You can read about her experience here.
I chose to spotlight Alice Wong because of her positive mindset and resiliency. I also appreciate how she collaborates extensively with StoryCorps to collect oral histories of people with disabilities to expand the disability community’s voice and to change the narratives and misconceptions surrounding disability.
To learn more about Alice, you can follow her on Twitter: @SFdirewolf. If you want to learn more about her work, check out disabilityvisibilityproject.com and follow the project on Twitter at @DisVisibility.