From their perspective, photo exhibit shows life with a disability

Photo exhibit Making the Journey shows transportation challenges for people with disabilities By Carolyn Stokes, CBC News Posted: Oct 23, 2016 6:31 PM

Access to the outside world’ shows the perspective of a person with a disability dealing with winter challenges.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but the group behind a new photo exhibit at Memorial University hopes those words will be spoken out loud.

Making the Journey is a collection of 30 photos that are meant to show what life is like for a person with a disability.

For the past year, a group of people with various disabilities has been capturing images from their personal lives that show how they are affected by transportation challenges.

“The Waiting Game”

‘The waiting game’ is one of 30 photos that show transportation challenges of people with disabilities. (‘Making the Journey’ photo exhibit)

“You’ll see photographs from different perspectives,” said Kimberly Yetman Dawson, executive director of Empower, a disability resource centre.

“It’ll evoke different emotions in people and we’re really hoping that we can generate some discussion about transportation and what it means to people with disabilities.”

Dawson hopes that discussion will reach the ears of decision makers at the government level.

Accessibility for all

Dawson feels people often take access to transportation for granted, but for the 14 per cent of the province’s population who live with a disability, transportation is top of mind.

Kimberly Yetman Dawson, executive director of Empower, hopes the exhibit will encourage discussion about quality of life for people with disabilities. (Empower)

It can mean the difference between enjoying an active life with others or being housebound and alone.

“I don’t think people realize what someone with a disability is faced with,” she said. “If they can’t get to work, if they can’t get to a social event or recreation.”

It’s a growing problem. Dawson said with an aging population, the number of people with a disability is expected to rise to 20 per cent in the next five years.

The collection of photos grew out of Kathleen Sitter’s research at MUN’s School of Social Work.

The exhibit, ‘Making the Journey: A photovoice study about transportation and quality of life for persons with disabilities’ will be on display in First Space Gallery in the Queen Elizabeth II Library until Dec. 16.

Dawson noted the gallery is fully accessible.

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