The mission of the Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium is to preserve and honor the historic struggle of people with disabilities to attain human and civil rights and to share the lived experiences of today, in order to promote community access, participation and equal opportunity.
The Consortium’s vision is public engagement in the dynamic history of people with disabilities, honor of people who were mistreated and denied their rights, recognition of the efforts of individuals with and without disabilities to effect positive change, and public awareness of contemporary issues, including the ongoing effort to maintain humane policies and laws.
- To promote the importance of: 1) preserving artifacts, collections, documents and narratives related to disability history in western Pennsylvania; 2) recognizing local individuals, grassroots advocacy efforts, and organizations that participated in the historic struggle for disability civil rights, and 3) educating the public about this history and its relationship to ongoing efforts to maintain rights and ensure humane policies and laws.
- To use the historic struggle for civil rights for people with disabilities in western Pennsylvania as a tool to reinforce the principles of equal opportunity, community participation, independent living, and individual self-determination.
- To establish the Consortium as a clearinghouse for individuals and organizations that are interested in the preservation of artifacts, collections, documents and narratives related to disability history in western Pennsylvania.
- To ensure that western Pennsylvanians with disabilities are the primary and leading force in documenting and presenting disability history.
- To engage community stakeholders (advocates representing different types of disabilities, organizations, museums, historical societies, libraries, students and academia, government and elected officials, support service providers, program administrators and others) in the effort to preserve artifacts, collections, documents and narratives related to disability history in western Pennsylvania and to educate the public about that history.
- To develop projects that ensure the preservation and accessibility of artifacts, collections, documents and narratives related to disability history in western Pennsylvania.
- To develop outreach projects and media initiatives that increase public awareness and educate the public and other stakeholders about disability history in western Pennsylvania and the ongoing effort to maintain rights and ensure humane policies and laws.
- To create broad community understanding of the wrongs of the past, especially institutionalization, so as to reinforce social and political commitment to the integration and participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of life, and to discourage segregation in any form.