Supporting Artists with Disabilities

Green snowflake design.

Consider buying gifts from artists who use AAC.

Many of us are doing our holiday shopping last minute. It might be a good year to skip the big box stores and use our spending to make a difference. There are wonderful gifts available from disabled artists and authors. Some of these talented people are listed below.
AAC Artists

Abstract yellow, blue, red, and green painting

Pam: @FoxyLadyGlass on Instagram.
Pam is a self-taught artist and poet. She sells books of her poetry and pieces of art. Her website is: Pam Foxy Lady Glass

Here are some artists who use eye gaze to speak and to create.

eye gaze art of three red poppies on a pale green and blue background

Sarah Ezekial uses her eyes to paint scenes of forests and flowers. To quote her website, “Who needs hands?”

Sarah Ezekial’s Website

abstract white puff balls on a green background

Greta uses her eyes to paint more abstract paintings, full of color and texture.

Studio Greta’s Website

The Center for Creative Arts

 

This is a program for people with disabilities that is focused on artistic expression. They have a website, and the artists sell their creations. There are lots of great gift ideas to be found there. Some of the artists use AAC.Three beautiful hand-drawn greeting cards with images of flowers in purple, red, yellow, and. blue.

The Center for Creative Works

Disability Pride

Some artists use their craft to speak to advocate for disability pride and visibility.

Buttons with disability pride and AAC messages.

endeverstar sells buttons that express a person’s pronouns, interaction needs, and communication modalities:

Neurodiversity Buttons

Blue heart ornament with drawing on a white Christmas tree.

Katie is a woman with CP who uses an AAC device. Her store, Katie’s Krazy Hearts offers many beautiful designs on tote bags, t-shirts, and ornaments.

Katie’s Krazy Hearts Website

AAC Authors

AAC users also write amazing books!

book cover for Inside My Outside. two photos of Sarah: one in a wheelchair, one relaxed on a couch, facing each other.
Sara Pyszka is an AAC user who writes with great humor and honesty about her experiences in college at Wright State University.

Sara Pyszka’s Inside My Outside

Book cover for 365 tidbits of Crip Wisdom and image of a women with tossed hair sitting in a wheelchair.

Galen Spiegler is the author of The Ability Almanac: 365 Tidbits of Crip Wisdom in Bite Sized-Pieces  His can be found on Amazon.com:

Book cover of Ghost Boy, a faded boy's face under the handwritten title.

One of the best-known authors who uses AAC is Martin Pistorius. In his first book, Ghost Boy, he discusses his experience of being locked into a body and unable to communicate:

Ghost Boy Website

Supporting AAC Learners

PrAACtical AAC frame with flowers and birds: inside, the title, Books featuring children who use AAC.

Are you parenting a young child who is learning AAC? Praactical AAC has a list of books starring children who use AAC:
Praactical AAC Booklist

You can also search online for gifts that include AAC symbols, or entire core vocabulary boards. Make AAC a part of your home and have it in reach in every room. Here is an example of a cozy throw blanket:

Gifts with AAC Symbols

Other Disabled Creatives

You can also search for disabled artists on Etsy. This will bring up a lot of folks with beautiful gift ideas for the holidays.

Disabled Artists on Etsy

And here is a new company that sells awesome. The company was founded by a man with paralysis. Billy Footwear sells shoes that are both stylish and accessible. With zippers all around, everyone will want to try a pair.

Feet with rainbow hightop sneakers. Ziipers around the full top of the shoe for accessibility.

Billy Footwear
Leave us a comment with your favorite artists and their sites!

 

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Kathryn Helland

Kathryn is a certified speech-language pathologist and works with children and adults with complex communication needs. She has been with the TechOWL team since 2015 and is currently working on her doctorate. She would like to examine how to best support AAC users in higher education.

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