by Aria Levy, Keneseth Israel

On Sunday, we met artist Wendy Elliott-Vandivier. She creates cartoons based on her everyday life, including constant stereotypes, interactions with people, and offensive comments. Some of her comics include inappropriate terminology and getting special treatment to even worse treatment than others. We learned so much from the stories of these interactions with people, what is ok to be asked and what you shouldn’t be doing.

She taught us that people with disabilities should be able to live without being put on a pedestal or made to feel like they’re different from everyone else. There are also so many things that aren’t available to people who are disabled; as Wendy illustrates in her cartoon, people are inconsiderate and often use accessible parking spaces. After Wendy’s presentation, we also created our cartoons based on anti-Semitism or experiences we went through. We were able to express our thoughts and ask questions!

I love that Wendy taught us about these experiences using cartoons. Art can be a powerful tool for raising awareness and promoting understanding of disabilities. It’s so important to be considerate of others and not make others feel uncomfortable by treating them with the same respect you do for everyone else. Wendy taught us so much, and we were so fortunate to be able to learn and communicate with her.