OU Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will host a virtual event Thursday in honor of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
According to the event flyer, the event will feature disabilities rights activist Alice Wong, who is also the editor of Disability Visibility and creator of Disability Visibility Project, for an “intimate conversation.”
According to their website, Disability Visibility Project is “an online community dedicated to creating, sharing and amplifying disability media and culture.”
The project encourages those with disabilities to “record their oral histories” at StoryCorps with the option of having them archived at the Library of Congress, according to its website.
StoryCorps records stories of over half a million people of various backgrounds and beliefs to “preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world” according to its website.
In an interview with The Daily, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Director Teara Flagg Lander said International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a day that “celebrates people with disabilities.”
“It’s an internationally recognized day,” Lander said in the interview. “We thought it (was) an opportunity for us to advocate for and bring awareness to faculty, staff and students with disabilities on OU’s campus.”
Lander said she wanted to include those with disabilities within her office's framework as well as connecting all three OU campuses through the event.
“This program allowed us to do that,” Lander said. “We’re partnering with Academic Affairs and (the OU Health Sciences Center) as well, and with our officers in Tulsa, too.”
In the interview, Lander said inspiration to invite Wong sparked by reading her book, "Disability Visibility."
“I read that book recently and thought this is an opportunity for us to see if she can come to campus — virtually, of course,” Lander said. “She was available for International Day of Persons with Disabilities.”
Lander said in the interview the goal of the event is to educate and provide awareness for those with disabilities on campus and in general.
“A lot of people don’t understand that folks with disabilities, or just having a disability, is one of the largest minority groups,” Lander said in the interview. “Twenty percent of the population will have a disability at a given time, and it’s also one of the few underrepresented minority groups that folks can move in and out of.”
Published in magazines such as the New York Times, Vox, and Teen Vogue, Wong has received the Beacon Award by the San Francisco Mayor’s Disability Council in 2010 and the Disability Service Award by the University of California, San Francisco, in 2011, according to the project’s website.
The virtual event will be from 7–8:30 p.m. Dec. 3. To attend, register via the event's Zoom registration page.