During the spring of 2016, students from the departments of English, Writing Studies, Communication, and Communication Sciences and Disorders met weekly with ten writers from our community. Through extensive one-on-one conversations, the students and their partners produced the works of memoir, fiction, and poetry. Professor Katie Van Wert from the Department of English oversaw this project.
This is a rewarding volunteer experience that gives students the opportunity to sharpen their interviewing, writing, and editing skills. They learn to listen in new ways and to develop new strategies for communicating with people with disabilities. Those individuals, some of whom are unable to write independently, have the opportunity to explore modes of narrative and share their stories with our community. In the process, participants form relationships that cross the lines of ability, teaching and learning from each other.