Every year on May 5, health care professionals around the world recognize World Hand Hygiene Day, a global movement led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness about the importance of hand hygiene in health care.
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a group of students from Harvard Medical School—led by Dorothy Weiss Tolchin, MD, EdM, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation—have put together a photojournalism exhibit showcasing authentic narratives of disability. The exhibit, This Is Me, will be on display in the poster space across from Coffee Central from July 1 through July 15.
“We hope this exhibit inspires viewers to reflect on the ways in which we all can continue to work toward full equity and inclusion for people with disabilities, especially within health care,” says Larisa Shagabayeva, student director of the exhibit. “We are so thankful to our participants and sponsors for allowing us to share these powerful stories.”
The individuals featured in this exhibit range from individuals living with disabilities or chronic conditions, to caregivers, to disability rights activists. By featuring these diverse perspectives, the students hope to highlight how far the health care system—and society—has come in the past 30 years as it relates to equity and inclusion, and how much work remains.
“This is Me brings together stakeholders from within and beyond the Mass General community – a collaboration that both centers individual voices and provides a collective invitation for viewers to consider how they can contribute to meaningful inclusion at many levels,” says Tolchin. “The students spent hours learning from each individual featured and assuring their lessons were well portrayed, making the overall exhibit a warm, thoughtful piece that we all feel so proud of.”
This Is Me is sponsored by the Mass General Office of Equity and Community, the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mass General and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the Harvard Medical School Disabilities in Medicine and Dentistry Working Group, and the Harvard Medical School Allies in Chronic illness, Health conditions, and Disabilities group (HACHD).
“The word ‘inclusion’ doesn’t mean much unless we embrace our differences,” says Zary Amirhosseini, Mass General Disability Program manager. “Listen to your patients and colleagues with disabilities. Challenge yourself to ask and learn about things that you’re uncomfortable with. Question what seems unjust. And celebrate resilience.”
Learn more and view the full exhibit at https://www.massgeneral.org/visit/accessibility/this-is-me/.
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