The Upstart Program

By: Kellen Jackson, ASC! Work-Study Assistant

The UpStart Program is a part of the Complex Social Change project (2012-14), funded through the Interdisciplinary Research Development Fund, Research Services, University of Lethbridge. It is a partnership between local NGOs and university researchers providing workshops in dance, drama, and self-advocacy for people living with disabilities.

It is heartwarming to hear participants speak for themselves about the value of having their own spaces for being wholly accepted, of building new friendships and having the freedom to have fun. Working against stereotypes and other barriers for employment for people with disabilities is an on-going process, and facilitating opportunities for growth in agency is absolutely key. Workshops like the UpStart Program are stress-relieving, confidence building, and are an awesome step toward greater self-determination for people with disabilities. Self-love and strength in moving forward!