The Disabled Culture that DisArt promotes is one that resists patrolling its borders, keeping out individuals who perhaps don’t fit the mold. Instead, DisArt understands the inherent need for nondisabled and Disabled people to live and work together towards equal access and justice. Promoting a Disabled Culture does not eclipse this type of community making, but rather strengthens it.

Most importantly, DisArt looks to contemporary art as a means of social cohesion and cultural transformation. Understandings of Disability as a culture can be as poetic as they are political. Here, to the right, is one of our favorite translations of what Disability culture might look and feel like. Please take a minute to watch and listen to Neil Marcus’ “Disabled Country.”

DisArt Promotes a Disability Culture

DisArt intentionally capitalizes the D in Disabled to indicate its belief that disability is a cultural identity rather than only a physical or mental condition of a body or mind. Although “people first language” is widely accepted by other organizations, DisArt believes that the phrase “people with disabilities” unnaturally separates Disable people from their own identities.

Since the 1960’s, Disabled people have been fighting for civil rights, sometimes alongside other minority racial and gendered cultures. As such, the political identity of Disabled people has been crafted and maintained by individuals who find safety, comfort, and power within a community of shared experiences. To respect that work and history, DisArt has always forwarded the benefits of understanding Disability as a Culture, one with shared values, norms, behaviors, symbols, and expressions.