by Evan Berger, Main Line Reform Temple

I recently had the opportunity to learn from Mrs. Wendy Elliott-Vandivier, and learn about inclusion and disability pride through art. Wendy is a fantastic artist, who shared with us her portfolio of disability pride artwork and her process for drawing. She talked to us about how harmful terms that sugarcoat disabilities can be. She told us that calling disabilities what they are can help able-bodied individuals be more aware, and therefore helpful. They are normal people just like the rest of us, with something physically or mentally hindering them that needs a little bit of extra consideration. It is important to not talk to them like children, and to recognize how to be helpful without being patronizing. She also gave us the opportunity to draw our own cartoons based on our experiences with anti-semitism, sexism, racism, ableism, or any other type of discrimination. This opened my eyes to things that my classmates have gone through, and how to be sensitive to that. Wendy was so helpful, and I really appreciated her coming to speak with us!