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Project Re•Vision: Bringing a Disability Lens to Health Care

Case Studies

Project Re•Vision: Bringing a Disability Lens to Health Care

Emily Paulos

Project Re•Vision aims to help disabled people share their experiences with healthcare providers and policymakers, in hopes of eliminating stereotypes, increasing understanding, and improving care and policy. “There’s a lot of evidence that people with disabilities are invalidated, and their healthcare is poorer than those without disabilities," states Project Re•Vision Director Dr. Carla Rice. “If we can bring a disability studies lens to care and begin to get providers– from doctors onward– to see disability as another identity category, as opposed to a biomedical or individual problem, that’s going to go a long way to improve healthcare interactions.”

In the spring of 2012, StoryCenter led three digital storytelling workshops that culminating in a facilitator training for selected storytellers. The workshops were unique, with their emphasis on a creative visual arts praxis and a theoretical framework for re-envisioning disability– they integrated presentations and discussions guided by Dr. Rice and her colleagues on storytelling about disabilities and difference, as well as on “creating an identity” as an art practice. After the training, Project Re•Vision facilitators led their own series of workshops. A year later, we led a follow-up workshop in partnership with the Project Re•Vision facilitators, as a way of reviewing past experiences and deepening the facilitation process.

The Project Re•Vision digital stories have been shown at film and arts festivals, including Toronto’s Abilities Arts Festival, to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, as well as at academic conferences in Canada and internationally. Project Re•Vision continues to facilitate digital storytelling, and Jan Derbyshire, who attended a workshop in 2013, is currently integrating a collection of the Re•Vision stories into a live multi-media theatre production that she is directing.