I volunteer for SRVS, an organization in Memphis that provides a variety of services for adults with intellectual, physical, and developmental disabilities. For over a year now, I've done weekly art classes at the day center. But I've wanted to do more than that. The day I took a tour of the facilities, before I even started volunteering, I told some of the staff about my idea. The staff was supportive, but it took me awhile to get the project off the ground. I wanted to be familiar with that environment, I wanted to get to know the individuals before asking something major of them.
Around the organization's building, we've been referring to it as "the Storytelling Project." I sit down one-on-one with the adults who come to the learning center and have them write and illustrate their own stories. Basically, I want to give these people a creative outlet. But it's a little selfish, too: I want to understand how their minds work, I want a glimpse into how they're living every day. The project launched in January, and I'm keeping a blog about my experience with it. It's called We Are Storytellers.
The blog's focus is the Storytelling project, but as I study and learn more about disabilities, I might write about that, too. It's something that's fascinating to me, and I work better if I can put my thoughts down somewhere and try to make sense of them.
If this isn't your thing, I understand. But if you have any interest in this topic and project at all, I'd greatly appreciate your comments, feedback, and support!
I wrote about how I got started yesterday at We Are Storytellers. You can follow along for updates on Twitter, too: @StorytellersOrg.