Kristin Duquette

One Young World Profile profiles

Kristin Duquette

Studies:
Human Rights graduate at Trinity College

I am passionate about

<p>The most important issue we face is changing the broader culture of social-marginalization, specifically for people with physical disabilities. Our culture, as portrayed through radio, television, social media and the Internet reinforces how a young girl or boy should act and present themselves physically (i.e., how they perform identities and culture). The human world is a social world. Thus social perception is the key to changing the culture. To that end, we can have protests, make legislation, and create jobs. Yet while these steps are important, they lack efficacy in their promotion of empathy instead, and often unintentionally, supporting sympathetic interactions; people often sympathize with disabled persons, but imagining oneself as disable can be a challenge for able-bodied persons. A Day in a Wheelchair seeks to bridge the gap between sympathy and empathy, to reify the personhood of people with physical disabilities, and to promote greater understanding of disabled rights as human rights.</p>

Actions

<p>Our commitment is unique both in its application on a collegiate level and its focus on disability rights as human rights. While promoting (empathetic) awareness is an important aspect of A Day in a Wheelchair (ADW), tangential lectures and discussions are incorporated with the goal of promotion a critical human rights framework. Unlike similar programs in elementary schools, ADW makes use of the academic institution in its goal of promoting human rights awareness and understanding. ADW aims to be a disability rights movement for social justice through lived experiences, interviews, and campus discussions. We hope to spread the ADW movement to other academic institutions in order to make the social and psychological implications of disability visible to campus communities. Therefore, ADW aspires to change the concrete, social stereotype of disability, in order for students to recognize disability rights as human rights.</p>