WPDHAC is a public clearinghouse for the region’s rich history of disability rights advocacy. The Consortium uses this history—through presentations, events and media—to educate the public about the evolution and significance of existing laws and policies.
- WPDHAC surveys and conducts outreach to locate historic collections and record oral histories to further enrich documentation of Western Pennsylvania disability history. In conjunction with Heinz History Center, WPDHAC provides preservation information.
- WPDHAC documents and shares important stories of Western Pennsylvanians with disabilities, their families, disability rights advocates, and others – past and present – using video, audio, photography and short article format.
- WPDHAC leads the effort to tell the history of Polk Center, once one of the most populous institutions in the nation and still one of the most intact. Through preservation, exhibits and storytelling, WPDHAC ensures that the story will not be lost to future generations. Polk is slated to close in 2022.
- WPDHAC hosts public events for a wide range of audiences. Recent topics have included employment and voting rights.
- WPDHAC presents the history of disability rights in Western Pennsylvania in community and educational settlings. Audiences include high school and college students, and professionals-in-training.
- WPDHAC maintains a website (www.wpdhac.org) with information about historic collections, repositories and resources that document the experiences of people with disabilities in Western Pennsylvania.
- WPDHAC participates in statewide and national networks of disability history organizations, connecting Western Pennsylvania’s story to the larger narrative.