Superhero Comic Books as Frameworks of Inclusivity and Advocacy for Youth With Disabilities

  • Valerie L. L. Karr University of New Hampshire
  • Courtney Weida Adelphi University

Abstract

This article explores cross-cultural collaborations between Syrian and American youth with disabilities interested in promoting social change by creating comic books to advocate for human rights of people with disabilities. During participatory human rights education and storyboard activities, youth drew from personal experiences with disability to create comic book characters that raise public awareness about disability issues. These characters and storylines aimed to promote inclusion, empowerment, and the readers’ respect for diversity. The authors discuss issues of disability and activism across cultures that emerged from our visual art and human rights curriculum framework. This curriculum and resulting comic book are proposed as tools to promote disability awareness, increase personal empowerment, and raise consciousness around social activism and cultural understanding. From the perspectives of professors of special education and art education, we investigate the transformative aspects of advocacy, representation, and expression for youth cultivated within the comic book creation.
Published
2013-12-27