Creativity, Disability, And The Arts

Design for Disability

alternative ways of making
May 26 – August 23, 2009
NIAD (National Institute for Art and Disabilities)
551 23rd Street, Richmond CA 94804

An exhibit showcasing alternative art making methods and new tools inspired by them. This exhibit was made possible through a collaboration between NIAD Art Center, the studio artists who work there, and two graduate design students from the California College of the Arts.

For more information please visit

Creative Growth
Oakland, CA USA
Creative Growth Art Center serves adult artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities, providing a stimulating environment for artistic instruction, gallery promotion and personal expression. Artwork fostered in this unique environment is included in prominent collections and museums worldwide.

Creativity Explored
San Francisco, CA USA
We are a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit, and sell art.

Disability And Inclusion Research

“There are strong arguments for encouraging disabled people to become designers and for finding mechanisms to support architects who acquire disabilities during their working lives. We feel this is an important step towards creating a climate of success for disabled designers in the UK.”
-Sandra Manley of the School of the Natural and Built Environment at UWE.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the University of the West of England (UWE) have launched a research study into disability and inclusion in architecture.

This is the first time that a detailed piece of research has been commissioned into this subject. The year-long study will seek to identify case studies of good practice in the profession, which facilitate equal opportunities for disabled people as entrants, students and practitioners. These case studies will act as a resource for future work, as well as raising the profile of disabled architects and celebrating existing successes.

RIBA and UWE hope that the questionnaire will be completed by the following groups of disabled people;

  • architects,
  • students of architecture,
  • people who embarked on an architecture course or career in architecture but did not complete,
  • people who considered a career in architecture, but were deterred from pursuing this ambition.

The researchers are also interested in hearing from anyone who is interested in the research and considers that they can make a useful contribution.

Further details about the research and the questionnaire are available on the following website:

Despite Lupus: How To Live Well With A Chronic Illness

Despite LupusDespite Lupus: How To Live Well With A Chronic Illness
by Sara Gorman

“Sara [Gorman] has written a gem of a book for lupus patients struggling with a new, frightening and unpredictable illness. Her advice is also applicable to all of us: lead a healthier, happier life. Discover the inner self and what is really important to you. Change is the cornerstone of life. Sometimes when we are feeling awful, we fear that “I will feel like this forever”. That feeling is understandable but completely false. Things always change. Knowing that we will not feel the same the next day or the next week is comforting. Our ability to change and put our happiness and the happiness of our loved ones as the core of our existence makes us happier and healthier people with our chronic disease, whatever that disease may be. Sara’s book helps us learn these and other truths to help us live with lupus and lead happier lives.”

More information can be found at the author’s blog

I haven’t read this book yet – it was just published this past week – but I look forward to doing so. One of the nice things about the whole umbrella of autoimmune illnesses is that, quite often but not always, if something does not directly address my own personal illness, I can just swap out some terms (i.e. rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, lyme disease) and it works just as well!

Hat tip to My Life Works Today! for posting about this book.

Access To Healthcare

Access to HealthcareNothing is more important than having access to the best healthcare possible, especially if you or one of your family members has arthritis or a related disease.

If you have insurance coverage, are on Medicare, or are uninsured or underinsured, you need to know all of your options for getting care and getting coverage.

More than 46 million Americans have arthritis or a related rheumatic disease, many of whom struggle to find accessible, affordable health care.

More information is available on the Arthritis Foundation’s Access to Healthcare web page.

I have received quite a few emails asking me if I had any information on co-payment, out of pocket assistance, and drug discounts – in addition to access to rheumatoid arthritis medications for people who are currently uninsured.

I didn’t have an answer before, but I just came across this great resource on the Arthritis Foundation website that includes all the links and phone numbers needed to find out the answers.

Hope this helps!