We’re excited to share news about a new initiative connecting parents and self-advocates with researchers, organizers, artists, educators, and policymakers with disabilities. Brought to our attention by UCLA’s Caitlin Solone (and leader of our IEP Exploration series!), the UCLA Disability Studies department now hosts interactive events called Inclusion Labs.

  • Inclusion Labs are workshops, activities, conferences, and lectures where people with different backgrounds and expertise come together “to reframe cultural norms, societal practices, and institutional policies around disability,” as stated by the Disability Studies department. 
  • By focusing on disability as a cultural identity and elevating the art, ideas, and scholarship of people with disabilities, these group events strive to break down ableist and discriminatory social norms.
  • Each event has a different theme, from dancing and disability labs that explore choreography and the art of disabled dancers to autism in media labs that explore the work of documentary filmmakers with autism. 

The next Inclusion Lab is a film screening and Q&A that will be hosted online on Thursday, May 13th, at 4:00 p.m. as part of their “Imagining Change Film and Dialogue Series.” Attendees will watch a 64-minute documentary film about writer, activist, and music archivist Leroy F. Moore Jr., the founder of Krip-Hop Nation. The film chronicles Moore as he produces a mixtape about police brutality’s impact on the disability community. A Q&A with Emmitt Thrower, the filmmaker, will follow. You can register for the event here.

Each Inclusion Lab is a wonderful opportunity to immerse ourselves and our kids more deeply into the art, history, creativity, and advocacy inherent in disability culture. You can check out the many different Inclusion Labs here (they’re all virtual for now), and go here to sign up for upcoming labs. Which events interest you? We’d love to know if you plan on attending to take advantage of this exciting space!

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