Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

1 Dec 2016


Actor Lee Ann Etzold and aspiring actor Erin McNulty after reading a of A Fierce Kind of Love. Photo by Christy Beck.


Selinsgrove Center resident. Photo by JJ Tiziou.


A Fierce Kind of Love. Photo by Jacques-Jean Tiziou.


A Fierce Kind of Love. Photo by Jacques-Jean Tiziou.

The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University was established in 1974 and works with people with disabilities and families across Pennsylvania to change systems, share knowledge, and promote self-determination. The Institute explores the potential of an arts-based approach to engage the larger community in a dialogue around disability issues and the history of the disability rights movement, and it includes a Media Arts & Culture unit. A 2014 Center grant supported the multi-part project A Fierce Kind of Love: Connecting Communities through Story and Dialogue, which included a new play recounting the untold stories of advocates in Pennsylvania who played a significant role in the fight for disability rights. In 2017, the Institute received a Discovery grant to develop an artist residency model, to illuminate the first-person narratives of people with intellectual disabilities and their experiences of institutionalization at Selinsgrove Center in Central Pennsylvania. In 2020, the Institute received a Center Project grant for File/Life: We Remember Stories of Pennhurst, a community-based storytelling project that will interpret the history and ongoing impact of the institutionalization of people with disabilities.