Who Am I To Stop It Screening at PSU #InvisibleNoMorePSU

Listen to this post: Hey, a Portland screening! We’re excited to be part of the Invisible No More project at Portland State University on May 2nd. Here’s a description of the project.

“The Disability Resource Center has designed a year-long project called Invisible No More PSU in which we are recognizing, celebrating, and supporting students who have invisible disabilities. Mental health, learning and other cognitive disabilities, and chronic health conditions are oftentimes left out of conversations about accessibility, inclusion, and diversity. The Invisible No More PSU Project will post flyers up around campus featuring statistics and student quotes and advertising events that remind us all of this particular population of people with disabilities, the unique challenges and distinct strengths they bring.

Look for the hashtag #invisiblenomorePSU for events that are sponsored by the DRC and the project throughout the year!”

And here’s the flyer for the event we get to be part of. Screening details here:

Flyer for May 2nd screening at PSU has screening details, logos of the sponsor DRC and logos for PSU and Diversity & Multicultural Student Services, The Hollywood Theatre, and New Day Films. There's a picture of Brandon Scarth sitting outside on a sunny day, singing and playing acoustic guitar.Date: Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017
Place: PSU’s Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 327
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 pm with Director Q & A at 6:45 pm
Cost: Free for everyone

Film has Captions and Audio Description. Those will play for everyone.
Food and drinks will be served. And yes, those food and drinks are free.

Thank you to our sponsor, the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and to PSU and the Diversity & Multicultural Student Services.

And a shout out to Billy Golfus. After a life-threatening TBI, he joined the disability rights movement. You can watch his transformation from musician to activist in his documentary When Billy Broke His Head…and Other Tales of Wonder. Billy also talks about how people with invisible disabilities aren’t part of conversations about access or inclusion. Some people don’t know about the rights movements, others don’t want to associate with disability or disability rights, and still more are shut out because others assume they can’t do the work or that their disabilities aren’t legitimate. Sometimes it’s that people claim it’s too expensive or hard to make events and materials cognitively and sensorily accessible. Or they are there with their invisible disabilities and are unwilling to come out with it to ask for accommodations or respect because they know those will be denied in a best case scenario. I won’t go into the worst case.

Let’s take a moment to also nod to the conversations people with invisible disabilities, and D/deaf people are actually in and are leading, conversations and actions. Because my community of neurodivergent, sick, chronically ill, mad or with a psychiatric disability label, D/deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, and invisibly disabled people are running many conversations. It’s just that their work is underfunded, undervalued, led by people of color, or is so disruptive to the status quo of inclusion rhetoric that they’re shut out. Major shout out to the disrupters!!! Thank you so much. I hope I’m contributing to your disruptions! I honestly think the other part is that many of these organizations, individuals, and communities are working toward a certain type of acceptance and toward liberation that feel threatening to society at large in ways that inclusion doesn’t feel so threatening. To be real, even inclusion is still seen as threatening and burdensome. Ugh. So let’s get all these communities into the conversations they want to be in, and let’s amplify the work of people doing their conversations on the margins, reaching in (or not reaching in).

OK, my documentary screening. Right. While I’m cis, straight, US-born, and white, and the film does have more white people than people of color in it, I do hope that the movie shakes you up a bit and shakes loose some of the implicit bias we all hold about TBI community and disabled artists. Once that bias (that you didn’t even know was there) shakes loose, you can grab it, bring it to the surface, ask yourself how it got there, and ask it to kindly leave your mind. We ask you to come in with an open heart, ready to explore basically almost every part of a TBI survivor’s life except rehab. Because rehab isn’t all we do with our lives. Even people who are in rehab for years and years and years, it’s not all they do. We’re so complex, all of us. Uplifting, sad, upsetting, or triumphant, Brandon, Dani, and Kris from this film have agency, self-determination, and things to say that we really need to pay attention to.

Please join us! And if you can’t make this PSU screening, subscribe to this blog and follow the Facebook page or the confusing (at least to me) Twitter to find out when screenings are happening. Be with you on May 2nd at PSU!