October 29, 2012
Living Connections: Voices and Visions from Shared Lives is currently on display at the Vermont Center for Independent Living’s main office at 11 East State St. in Montpelier.
The exhibit, which features images by Richmond-based photographer Mary Claire Carroll and text by Deborah Lisi-Baker, consists of 10 panels about a diverse group of Vermonters.
“The photos and text tell a compelling story about disability services in the state of Vermont,” said VCIL Executive Director Sarah Launderville. “We encourage folks to come and see it.”
Living Connections captures the voices and experiences of individuals with and without disabilities who have stories to tell about new directions for disability services.
“I loved putting Mary Claire’s pictures together with the living words of Vermonters who tell their own stories about shared lives transforming individual lives and the world we live in,” said Lisi-Baker. “These shared stories capture the voices of people who are choosing to create community and help us see the ways we can make this a better world, by making these living connections. It just goes to show: Together we can make a difference.”
The interviews took place at a time when many Vermonters with developmental and other disabilities remember life in institutions. The right to self-determination and community options is still new and it is transforming how we live and work together. The images and voices in this exhibit reflect a growing expectation — by individuals with disabilities and by those who know them as individuals — that people with developmental and other disabilities are more than service recipients; they are friends, advisors, contributors, students, teachers, allies, and active members of their households, workplaces, social groups and chosen communities. They also show us the human strength and promise of a society where we are all valued and where we all belong.
Living Connections was funded and made possible by a grant from the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council.
The exhibit has been shown at the Statehouse in Montpelier, the Richmond Free Library, Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, University of Vermont and the Vermont Center for Independent Living in Montpelier. New venues are currently being sought.
If you are interested in hosting the exhibit, please contact Mary Claire Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-434-2312.