Disability Services: Disability History

Professional Development, Training, and Awareness Building Opportunities

Disability History Exhibit

The Disability History Exhibit is a 40 foot-long museum-quality display consisting of 23 individual panels, each approximately 2 feet wide by 3 feet tall. There is a timeline that runs along the bottom of the entire display, and each panel is a collage of words and images that invite individuals to better understand the complex ways in which disability has been treated over time. There is color coding to represent the treatment of the disabled from a medical, moral, and social viewpoint.

The physical display was created and is sold by Advocating Change Together, an independent living group out of Minnesota. A copy of the display was purchased by the Oregon Association on Disability and Higher Education (ORAHEAD) to be shared within our state.

Disability History Exhibit Playlist

There is an accessible html version of the disability history exhibit that was created by Kaela Parks while at the University of Alaska Anchorage. It is hosted by the State of Alaska Governor's Council on Disability. It contains a single column representation of the content for each panel with alt text for images. In addition there is a full view of each panel available as pdf.


Disability in the Curriculum

The PCC Multimedia Department worked with Disability Services, creating a video for each panel. These videos are all captioned and assembled into a playlist. The videos feature high resolution photography and narration with voices of PCC students and faculty.

Faculty are encouraged to incorporate the exhibit into their teaching. Many disciplines provide natural connection points. Ideas for assignments are included below.

  • Scavenger Hunt - Ask students to find specific items in the display that relate to the course content.
  • Essay  - Ask students to write a brief essay on one or more elements in the exhibit that relate to course content.
  • Creative Expression - Ask students to create a drawing, painting, sculpture, or other expression that is inspired by a theme within the exhibit.
  • Free-write/Discussion - Show selected clips from the exhibit and provide a prompt that asks students to process their reactions through a five minute free-write, followed by a discussion.