Storytelling, telling stories, and stories to tell

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This fall is totally story time! I want to let you know about a couple different things happening that are super different. What ties them together is story, the power of story, and creating a space where disabled–and other marginalized–people are centered and their stories given attention.

First off is a technical talk. I have the great honor of presenting a 3-hour lecture for The lecture is designed for speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and other folks who do cognitive rehabilitation for people with acquired or traumatic brain injury. Licensed clinicians can get continuing ed credits. College students can come for free and might be eligible to get university credit for attending. You can stream the lecture anytime after Friday, but it’ll be more fun if you come to the live presentation!

Date: Friday, September 12, 2014
Time: 1:00 — 4:15 pm
Course location: Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital
Wilcox Building, Conference Room B on the ground floor
Co-Sponsor: BIRRDsong (Brain-injury Information Referral and Resource Development)

The lecture will have a ton of research and technical stuff, but it’s really based on the power of story.  If you don’t get any stories from your patients in outpatient rehab about who they are, how they identify, what they value, and what they want to work on, how will you know how to plan their treatment? I mean yeah, you can go the worksheets, pencil tapping and CDs, and computerized cognitive games route. But you can also tap into story in a really big way, find ways to see us as more than just patients, include us in goal-setting, and still bill insurance. I’ll tell you all about it this Friday.

For more info, contact Darla Torkelsen at 503-855-3186 or

The other event is called “Intersections – An Evening of Storytelling about Identity, Culture, Community, and Pride.” It’s one of many events for the 10-day long Portland State of Mind community celebration on the Portland State University campus.

Although the idea for a storytelling presentation started at the Disability Resource Center, it immediately grew into a multi-cultural, multi-identity event. Hence the name, “Intersections.” The Disability Resource Center is partnering with several community members and other resource centers on campus, including Veterans Resource Center, Women’s Resource Center, Diversity & Multicultural Student Services, and Resource Center for Students with Children.

I’ll write much more about this event and the folks involved as it gets closer. For now, let’s get all geared up for some truly amazing storytelling. I already have it in my day planner. I’m telling you now so you can mark it down-type it in-tap it in-pin it early.

Date: Thursday, October 23, 2014
Time: 6:30 — 8:oo pm
Location: Smith Memorial Student Union Multicultural Center, Room 228
1825 SW Broadway Ave.

Stay tuned. And please come to one or both of these events, as you like. While you’re at it, think about whether you’ve gotten to tell the stories you want to tell. If not, do you know where to go to get them out there? Drop me a line if you need a hand.