August 18, 2010

Write To Connect in the Disability Community

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Life Writing Workshops in the Disability Community

What is life writing?

Life writing usually refers to memoirs and autobiography. I use the term to mean any kind of writing that connects you back to your most vital self. It is writing that can take the form of novels, poems, emails, notes on Facebook, op eds for news outlets, posts on your blog, personal statements for job applications, and more! It is writing that is both practical and artistic.

As a woman with a disability, my life writing practice has helped me connect with services that enable me to live independently in the community. It has helped me communicate openly and thoroughly with my doctors. Every day, my friendships and professional relationships are fortified through my life writing practice. Life writing brought me and my partner together. Most of all, life writing allows me to explore my disability through the lens of everyday experiences and to feel connected to the pulse of life even when barriers are present.

The Disability Community

Right now, so much emphasis is being placed on funding and programs to create more opportunities for social integration and employment “for” people with disabilities. But quality of life and livelihood is arrived at “by” individuals with disabilities, individuals with unique and vibrant voices.

Join a Write To Connect workshop and explore your writing voice while linking up with new friends and contacts. Build community and discover your vital self one word at a time. Writing can be pen-in-hand, audio diaries, email letters to friends. Writing can happen via eye tracking or a sip and a puff; it can take the shape of a cartoon, a speech. Your voice is your own! Share it and connect!

How do WTC workshops work?

Poetry is my background. Each class will start with creative exercises, but each workshop series can go in different directions depending on who is attending. We will create the experience together. Participants can come in with specific goals (I want to write a short story, I want to hone my ideas around disability rights, I want to start a blog, I want to draft different cover letters for my dream job. Etc.) and I will shape the class around those goals or interests.

To find out more about WTC, go to http://writetoconnect.blogspot.com/. There, you can view my résumé and check out the blog.

Workshops may take place at an organization in the disability community, at a public place like the library or from your home (via internet or phone). Cost to you as a participant depends on the duration and location of the workshop series. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please contact me for details about the next series.

I would be happy to chat with you about your interests in writing and your accessibility needs.

Email amberdipietra@yahoo.com Call 415 867 1124.


For organizations serving the disability community -- please contact me to discuss how I can bring Write To Connect workshops to your site. I can tailor workshops to fit your agency's mission. Upon request, I will email you my resume, sample contract, and funding options.