Teaching teens about disability history, plus a research study needs participants, a symposium discusses college, and film event is free.
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Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium

Visit our website!

Our website offers a collection of resources about disability rights history. 

Teen volunteers at Friendship Circle learn about the history of disability in the U.S.


Tina Calabro and Holly Dick, Consortium steering committee members, spoke recently about the history of disability rights to teen volunteers at the Friendship Circle in Squirrel Hill. The teens have been studying disability history through a four-session course called "History of Segregation and Inclusion Among People with Disabilities." 

The Friendship Circle is an organization founded to encourage friendship between teen and pre-teen volunteers and children and teens with disabilities. Participants take part in activities like cooking class, bowling, and other social outings. There's a separate group for young adults.

The program’s director, Rivkee Rudolph, began Pittsburgh’s Friendship Circle in 2006 in with her husband, Rabbi Mordy Rudolph. Nationally, the Friendship Circle concept began in 1994. The program is based in the Jewish community and activities include celebrations of religious holidays and heritage, but volunteers and participants do not have to be Jewish.  

In 2016, the organization moved into the renovated former Gullifty’s restaurant on Murray Avenue. For more information about the Friendship Circle, contact Rivkee Rudolph at

Join us Dec. 19 for free documentary event


The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University 
presents the film
Valuing Lives: Wolf Wolfensberger and the Principle of Normalization
from 9:30 a.m.-noon
Tuesday, December 19

at Rodef Shalom 
4905 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.
Panel discussion, light refreshments
Free, registration is required
Valuing Lives film imageGuy Caruso, co-producer of the film, Western Coordinator for the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, and Consortium steering committee member, will facilitate the after-film discussion with panelists Paula Davis, parent and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Diversity for the University of Pittsburgh’s Schools of the Health Sciences; Al Condeluci, executive director of Community Living and Support Services (CLASS) and Consortium steering committee member; John L. Tague Jr., Consortium project director; and Bob Nelkin, president and CEO of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium is a co-sponsor of the event, along with the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council and Disability Rights Pennsylvania. 

Watch a trailer and bonus interviews, including one with Pennsylvania's Nancy Thaler, deputy secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. 

Act 48 credits and Social Work CEUs are available. For more information, contact

“Journey of Inclusion” examines the college experience for students with disabilities


Symposium LogoThe Pennsylvania Inclusive Higher Education Consortium is offering a symposium on “The Journey of Inclusion: Experiencing the College Years” on January 8 at Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pa. The one-day conference will be an interactive day of learning, reflection, initiative, and application with international leaders, innovators, and award-winning authors.

More information about the symposium, including featured speakers and schedule, is available on the website.

Information about cost is available on the registration site. The conference is free for attendees of the  Everyday Lives Conference (January 9-11), but registration is still required. 

Pitt researcher seeks people with disabilities for survey about internet use


A University of Pittsburgh PhD student is seeking people with disabilities to take survey about how they use (or don’t use) internet-connected devices such as smart phones, computers, or tablets. 

The survey can be completed online or over the phone. Participants may receive a gift card for participating.

For more information, go to the study website or contact Bobby Quamar at or 412-512-5277.

Have you taken our survey?


If you haven't taken our survey yet, please do. The Consortium serves as a clearinghouse for records and artifacts that tell the story of disability rights history and activism in Western Pennsylvania. 

If you know of such items or information, we'd like to add them to the listings on our website. If you need help preserving them, we can help with that too. 

Contact us at
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