Lawrence Carter-Long is an award-winning artist, activist and media spokesman with cerebral palsy. He started the #saytheword campaign and is Director of Communications at Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF).
Lawrence: “Dig a little deeper and the lesson is clear: Make something accessible and inclusive and everybody benefits, not just disabled people. Every single time. That’s an impressive track record … But before we can do that we’ve got to get real about both the positives and the negatives that surround it. DISABLED. #SayTheWord is an attempt to facilitate that kind of understanding and perspective, to interject a disability consciousness into everyday situations that, thus far, too many have been able to ignore or take for granted.”
IMAGE: Four small pencil drawings of a man in the middle of white textured paper have varied expressions and colorful clothes. The man on the right raises his arm from his wheelchair.
Jonathan Valvidias from NIAD prefers moody colors but goes multi-pigmented for the many images he says are self-portraits. The resulting narratives reflect his self-perception and emotional sensitivities as well as his mastery of acrylics.