by Daniel Zaslow, Keneseth Israel
This past Sunday we had the chance to listen to and speak with disability advocate and cartoonist, Wendy Elliott-Vandivier. We learned specifically about her cartoons. Wendy creates cartoons featuring herself, and other disabled people. They focus on what life is like as a disabled person: the obstacles they face, the stereotypes they endure, and the thoughts they have. They also included her service dog, Lucy. She had thoughts of her own, supported her owners, and criticized those who made offensive comments.
It was great hearing Wendy’s perspective and difficulties through life as a disabled person. One thing that stood out specifically was when she mentioned her hatred for certain terminology, especially “handicapped”. I never knew this, but handicapped is seen as derogatory to many disabled people. She also spoke about what she struggles through each day. She mentioned a lot of small things: absence of ramps, non-disabled people using reserved parking spaces, non-accessible spaces, etc. We had a chance to mimic Wendy’s cartoons with similar moments in our lives as well. Many of us used moments of anti-semitism for our cartoons.
Hearing from Wendy was awesome. It provided a perspective of life which many of us don’t live from, and to express our unique perspective through art.