Break the Story Volume 4: Disability Visibility featured image

This summer, millions celebrated the 30th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act. They did so at a dramatic moment: amid an outcry for racial justice and under the weight of a global pandemic that has disproportionately affected their communities.

At the Collaborative, we know that innovation often emerges out of crisis. As disability inclusion activist and author Alice Wong says, “Disabled people have been involved in every movement as activists, artists, storytellers, and cultural workers.”

At this historic moment for the disability rights movement, the Pop Culture Collaborative is proud to welcome Alice as the special Guest Editor for the latest volume of our digital magazine, Break The Story Vol IV: Disability Visibility. As the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, Alice is currently featured on the September cover of British Vogue as one of 20 activists bringing us hope, and recently published a galvanizing collection of essays by disabled people.

In her introduction to this issue, Alice writes, “When we imagine the just and pluralist future we want to collectively create, disabled people, who make up more than a billion people in the world and cross gender, racial, and economic lines, must be one of the central forces in visioning and crafting that change.… Throughout this issue, disability is framed as a generative cultural force, a source of innovation, transformation, creativity, and joy.”

With Alice’s vision and leadership, each piece is authored by or features a BIPOC disabled and/or d/Deaf leader and covers some of the most exciting and groundbreaking work by disabled people in fashion, art, performance, entertainment, and activism. The collection includes a hilarious essay by actor and comedian Maysoon Zayid on her journey through Hollywood; Alice’s interview with Crip Camp’s impact producer Andraea LaVant on how her disability experiences allowed the film’s impact team to pivot in a pandemic; Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s lyrical essay on how disability innovation can forever change live performance; a conversation between Pop Culture Collaborative Senior Fellow Storm Smith and YouTuber and activist Rikki Poynter on the future of film and television captioning; and much more. Together, this collection is a testament to the myriad of ways the disability community is transforming our culture and our world.