Inside/Out

The members of VSA Arts want to change the way people with disabilities are perceived. Blair Wing (who has been confined to a wheelchair since she was in a car accident at age 18) says it's a problem that people with physical handicaps are not viewed as being sexy or attractive -- yet. She wants to have a hand in changing that.

"Inside/Out…voices from the disability community" is a oral history piece about disability in America that was staged from June 27-29 at the Kennedy Center. It was commissioned by VSA Arts, which promotes visual and performing arts for people with disabilities. Bob talked to three of the seven cast members: Blair Wing, Vivian Cary Jenkins and Christopher Imbrosciano, plus VSA President Soula Antoniou.

Vivian Cary Jenkins lost her eyesight starting at age 60. In the show, she points out that a majority of Americans will have a disability at some point in your life - that if you live long enough, something is likely to happen to you. I assume she means something like heart disease, diabetes, or a terminal illness such as cancer. Those are terrible health problems, certainly. But they're more common so the people inhibited by those disabilities don't face the stigma and hardship that someone with, say, Moebius Syndrome or cerebral palsy does.

The show was enlightening to me and I thank each of the members for being brave to talk about their lives in a way many people don't. Yes, you can have a disability and still live life to its fullest.

Learn more about the VSA arts organization from their web site.

www.vsarts.org

-Ariana