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postcard: art saves lives

10 reasons why you should participate in Postcards from the Edges

I am ridiculously excited about this project.  It’s awesome!  Anyone who knows me, knows that when I get enthusiastic, I really get enthusiastic.  This definitely counts as one of those moments.

To celebrate their 40th anniversary United Response has asked people from around the world to share their thoughts on a postcard.  They are calling it Postcards from the Edges.

postcard: art saves lives
One of the many great submissions to Postcards from the Edges.

Everyone, from around the world, is encouraged to talk, share, educate, celebrate, mourn, love, hate, be frustrated, be hopeful, celebrate, etc., in one massive forum that showcases the diversity and strength of the disability community.

I ♥ this project.  I can’t wait to submit my own card.  Here’s why!

1.   It’s inclusive.  I feel as though this project truly ‘gives voice.’  Everyone is encouraged to join and share.  I like that, I like it alot!  People, support workers, families, and the community are giving their candid opinions.  It’s rare to see a forum for discussion where all people are invited to talk in such an open way.

2.   It’s educational.  I’ve seen similar projects adapted for classrooms, workplaces, etc.  I think that fabulous.

3.   It’s communal.  Global threads as well as local threads are woven here.  It really gives scope on how vast, diverse, and multi-talented the disability community is.  It’s a way to connect, break down barriers, and stop the isolation that so many people experience.

4.   It celebrates what’s unique.  I’ve seen a lot of disability community posts on how Hollywood, the media, big brother, etc. tend to stereotype people.  The cards are an absolute showcase of how people are people. Unique, funny, creative, and living over and above labels.

5.   It comes straight from the horse’s mouth.  Often I feel guilty as a writer working in the disability field.  Messages are best when they come from people.  When projects make voice accessible I’m guaranteed to back it.

6.   It’s super, super easy to do.  Yup, that’s a huge reason why I like this.  United Response has gone out of their way to make it easy to join in and participate.

7.   It’s fun but it tackles hard issues.  People on the cards are talking about tough stuff, they’re keepin’ it real.  United Response is celebrating people, their agency, AND people in a positive way while keeping a laser focus on issues.  Count me impressed.  This is very clever media.

8.   It says YES to creativity.  There is so much artistic energy in the disability field.  There are some stunning stories, images, and thoughts in this project.  Not everyone talks the same way.  This project nails it!

9.   It’s not “cute”.  This is raw, unfiltered, and thought provoking.

10.   It’s empowering.  Sharing stories is a uniquely human experience.  It’s how we bond, make connections, and incur meaningful change.  The more people know about one another the stronger we are as a society. Knowledge and sharing brings out the best in all of us.

I just spent an hour on the website reading people’s thoughts on their own disability, causes they support, stories both positive and negative, messages of love, frustration, and genuine compassion.  I found it invigorating.

Tell me what you think about the project.  Inspired like me?  Did you join? Share this with the people in your life.

Thank you to United Response for providing us with the wonderful examples of postcard submissions.

two postcards: hope; see the child, not the disability
Two postcards from United Response‘s project, Postcards from the Edges.


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