Hello and Welcome to Joan's e-portfolio!
I developed and constructed this e-portfolio as my Capstone project, in order to demonstrate and share my experiences and reflections about my participation in the Disability Studies program.
You may notice many of the pictures in this e-portfolio are those of flowers. While they may be nice to look at, there’s a special significance to them. Not long before I began the Disability Studies program, I had my first opportunity to do some gardening. Where previously I was known by family and friends as the “plant assassin” for my tendency to kill even the easiest-care houseplant, I now had an outdoor garden I was responsible for and I couldn’t tell the weeds from the flowers.
As I began to educate myself about plants and gardening, one of the simplest and yet most valuable things I learned from my gardening 'coach', was that if a plant is put in a location where the conditions – light, soil, water – don’t meet the needs of the plant, the plant might wilt, fail to bloom or even die. The plant is not the problem; it’s that the plant is in an environment that doesn’t meet its needs.
While working on a paper for one of my first courses in the program, I noticed parallels between plants thriving and a social model of disability. If people with disabilities live in a world that is designed by and for non-disabled people, people with disabilities are not being provided with the environment they need in order to thrive. While there will likely always be people with impairments, illnesses, injuries and chronic conditions, the extent of a person’s disability is not always determined by the severity of their impairment but is very often determined by a society that doesn’t create the necessary conditions for mobility and access that meets the needs of all it citizens.
All the flowers pictured in my e-portfolio were taken in and around my garden. I hope that you enjoy looking at them but more importantly I hope they serve as reminder that we, as a society, need to work on creating an environment that gives all its members, disabled and non-disabled, the opportunity to thrive.
I hope you enjoy your visit to my e-portfolio. Please feel free to use the “Contact Me” section to get in touch with me. I look forward to your comments and feedback!