Carrie Levinson, MSLIS (She/her/hers)
Reference & Instruction Librarian, Mount Sinai West & Mount Sinai Morningside
Affect is a grassroots organization that aims to “amplify multiply-marginalized folx and embody disability justice.” Founded in July 2015 by disability justice advocate, community organizer, and letter artist Elea Chang, the organization previously focused on a two-day conference examining various aspects of social change. Affect’s current focus is putting together media campaigns and community resources. Their featured campaign is a project called “Disabled and Here”.
This project showcases freely available stock photos and images of disabled Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC). The images show people with a variety of diagnoses, body sizes, body types, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Unlike many other media portrayals of disability, the project is led by the community it represents. In addition to the photos, which have themes of Community, LGBTQ+, Everyday Living, and Social Justice, there is also an interview series with many of the subjects/collaborators.
Six disabled people of color smile and pose in front of a concrete wall. Five people stand in the back, with the Black woman in the center holding up a chalkboard sign reading "disabled and here." A South Asian person in a wheelchair sits in front. Photo from Disabled and Here, licensed under CC-BY 4.0.
Disabled and Here can be a resource for those who want to have an alternative to traditional visual portrayals of disability.