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Alice Wong Sets Out to Chronicle Disability History

“The motto of the Disability Visibility Project is really simple,” says founder and Project Coordinator Alice Wong. “‘Recording disability history, one story at a time'”

In celebration of next year’s 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Wong created the Disability Visibility Project, a year-long community partnership with StoryCorps that encourages people with disabilities to contribute their stories to StoryCorps’ growing collection of American oral histories at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

“Disability history, like Asian American history, isn’t told or brought to light by mainstream media or even in high school textbooks,” said Wong, a San Francisco-based disability activist who is a Staff Research Associate at the Community Living Policy Center, an advisory board member of Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California (APIDC), and a Presidential appointee to the National Council on Disability.

Wong is particularly keen to chronicle the diversity of Asian American and Pacific Islander disability experience, “I believe the API disability experience is unique and different.” said Wong. “Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of stigma among APIs about disability, in particular mental illness. Like the general population, many Asian Americans have disabilities, but may not identify as disabled at all.”

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