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Disability Awareness Week

Disability is not a 'brave struggle' or ‘courage in the face of adversity’. Disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live.

The flash mob is now only one week away! Here is a detailed outline of what will be happening on event day: next Wednesday, May 25th

Though freezing will be taking place on Red Square between 12:20 and 12:30, we will have an (optional) pre-event meet-up near Red Square to congregate and get on the same page. However, if you cannot make it to this optional meeting, don’t worry! Come directly to the square and watch/listen for the:

starting cue: a man releasing of a blue balloon from a slab in the center of Red Square, shouting, “OH NO, MY BLUE BALLOON” (note: simultaneous visual and audio cue)

ending cue: the voice describer saying, “…and five minutes have passed,” and otherwise people unfreezing and continuing on their way  (audio, then visual cue)


noon: begin to congregate between Kane, Savery, Gowen/Smith and Suzallo, just past Red Square on the pavement. SEE ATTACHED CAMPUS MAP, or email to request one. Look for signs that say “Every Body Meeting Point.” If you’re have trouble finding us, call or text (262)994-5663 for specific instructions. 

12:10: Brief info session to confirm procedures of the event. ASL Interpreter will be present.

12:15: Head over to Red Square, disperse and prepare for the FREEZE.

between 12:20-12:25: watch/listen for the starting cue (a man releasing of a blue balloon from a slab in the center of Red Square, shouting, “OH NO, MY BLUE BALLOON”). We will be freezing for 5 minutes, starting at undetermined time between 12:20 and 12:15.  

between 12:25-12:30: listen/watch for the ending cue (the voice describer saying, “…and five minutes have passed,” and otherwise people unfreezing and continuing on their way). The flash will then be over! 

Reminders: This event is being filmed/documented by multiple entities. By participating you give full consent for this material to be used and published, on UW TV and Youtube, in the Daily, as well as other news sources. If you would like to be credited in our version of the video and on the website, please send us an email with your name to be included in the list. If you have any questions regarding filming and publicity, please contact

Thank you for participating!

For more information about the Flash Mob, please visit


With one week left before Disability Awareness Week, we’re certainly getting jittery with excitement! Keep checking the blog for updates as we continue to post daily inspirations.

Also revisit our page on Redefining Bodies, for updated information on our panelists. Joining us on the 23rd is Gaby de Jongh from the Washington Assistive Technology Act Program.

For today’s inspiration, check out an innovative performance by Claire Cunningham:

ME(Mobile/Evolution) by Claire Cunningham from Claire Cunningham on Vimeo.

Record; text= Fight Sound Pollution, Sign Time, May 18th, Q-Center

Deaf, hard-of-hearing? ASL student? Interested in learning sign language? We welcome everyone– experts and novices– to come to the Q Center (Schmitz 450) for Sign Time, Wednesday, May 18 from 3:30-4:30pm.

“The Silver Scorpion is the brainchild of a group of young disability advocates from the U.S. and Syria. Brought together at the first international Youth Ability Summit in Damascus in August 2010, the attendees, who are all disabled, were asked to create a superhero who reflects what they have always wanted to see in a comic book.”

“None of the young people who helped create the Silver Scorpion suggested that he should use his power to cure his disability. “The Silver Scorpion is essentially empowered by who he is and doesn’t look at his superpower as a way of wishing he was something else,” says Snyder.” (Time)

Mon May 23

3:00-4:30pm Redefining the Body: A Panel Discussion on the Future of Accessible Technology @ Mary Gates Hall Room 288  271

Tue May 24

5-7pm Film Screening: “The Couple” @ Odegaard Library 220

Wed May 25

12:20pm Every Body Freeze, Now! @ Red Square

Thur May 26

6:30-8:30pm Cripping Culture: A Live Poetry Slam and Art Show@ Parnassus

Fri May 27

7-9pm Celebration Dinner @ Shultzy’s (RSVP via email:

Sat May 28

7-9pm Mr. Shineyhead presents: “A Storytelling Extravaganza” @ Parrington Hall Commons Room 308  Forums Room 309

Be on the lookout! We’ll be hanging up posters around campus and U-District in the coming week!

Disability Awareness Week Schedule Poster

Mr. Shineyhead Presents A Storytelling Extravaganza Poster

“Bill Shannon dances — on four legs. Born with a bilateral hip deformity, this ingenious performance artist’s work will challenge your notions of disability.” (Pop Tech)

“I’m an artist trapped in a human-interest story.”

“People are more concerned with their idea of what the condition is than [with] my needs,” he says. All those people saying “sorry” when they passed him, or trying to help when he didn’t need it — even those who thought his abilities meant he was faking his disabilities. “People think, ‘Oh, he’s a disabled artist.’ But for the disabled community, I’m not really disabled enough,” he says. “I’m in between.”

In Chicago, he says, “I realized there was no way I could control people seeing me as representing failure.” Instead, he decided to represent it on purpose, and then play with the representation.

Wells’ Invisible Man went murderously mad; Shannon blames it on the character’s doomed attempts to return to normalcy. In a proposal for the piece, Shannon writes that his work “shows how madness can be averted by hosting the gaze rather than being subject to it.” Or, as Shannon says in real life, “In my work I’ve entertained the notion that normalcy is not always the best option.”

More info about Bill Shannon at