The Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium is a newly formed group dedicated to preserving and honoring the historic struggle of Western Pennsylvanians with disabilities to attain human and civil rights. Their mission is to educate the public about this history in order to ensure full participation, equal opportunity, and humane policies and laws for people with disabilities.
The formation of the Consortium reflects similar efforts across Pennsylvania and the nation to use history as a tool for ongoing disability rights advocacy. The Consortium will engage in projects such as exhibits, forums that promote community dialogue, and curricula for schools.
The Consortium is open to all individuals and organizations with an interest in raising awareness of disability rights history and ensuring that present actions do not repeat errors of the past. We hope to include you in the Consortium’s activities.
Founding members of the Consortium include the Senator John Heinz History Center, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, ACHIEVA, Tri-County Patriots for Independent Living, Polk Center, Community Living and Support Services (CLASS), National Alliance on Mental Illness — Southwestern PA (NAMI), Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, and the Pennsylvania History Coalition Honoring People with Disability. Current funding for the Consortium comes from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council and the Edith L. Trees Foundation.
We also hope that you will help by completing the attached survey. One of the initial projects is creating a comprehensive inventory of historic collections, papers, artifacts and oral histories that exist in Western Pennsylvania and establishing an online, searchable resource for educators, museum professionals, researchers and the public.
It is the hope of the Consortium that gathering this information will further enrich the story of disability rights advocacy in Western Pennsylvania. Providing information on the survey does not in any way obligate you or your organization to share any historic materials.
If you have any questions about the Consortium or the survey, please feel free to contact John Tague, Project Director, at 412-204-7199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post brought to you on behalf of the Project Director of the Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium, John Tague