From the Center for Disability Rights’ Director of Advocacy, Stephanie Woodward:
The Live On Movement is a disability-led project for people with disabilities to see how worthwhile life is. Life can be hard sometimes, and this is even more true for people living with disabilities. Young people with disabilities face bullying, youth and adults with disabilities can be forced into nursing facilities, and plenty of people and businesses still discriminate against us every day. Whether you were born with your disability, your disability has slowly progressed as you grew older, or you suddenly acquired your disability, the challenges you face are real. But you can get through them!
Some people do not think they can get through the challenges they face, and some people may think there’s no way to live a happy, fulfilling life with a disability, but we know that’s not true. The Live On Movement was created to show people with disabilities the incredible lives they can lead, and all they need to do right now is choose to Live On.
From CDR’s press release:
Live On is an online campaign aimed at encouraging people with newly acquired disabilities, progressive disabilities, or young disabled people who might be more susceptible to bullying and suicidal ideation, to consider the value of their life as a disabled person. Many times, people in these situations receive strong messages from society that their life is not worth living. Since disabled people often lack disabled role models who are flourishing in the same situation as theirs, it is easy to accept these negative messages. This project is aimed at reversing that narrative through a series of short, but powerful videos that highlight the experiences of people who may have struggled to accept their disability at first, but have now built a life worth living with their disability and not just in spite of it.
In addition to the videos telling the stories of disabled lives well lived, Live On offers a variety of resources for disabled people who may be struggling with depression and/or suicidal thoughts. This includes information like how to contact the Crisis Text Line and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Resources are also available for contacting the hundreds of Centers for Independent Living that are scattered across the United States, offering expert knowledge and first-hand experience in living with a disability as a fully integrated member of society.
Individuals with disabilities who want to share their stories can contribute to this ongoing project with a video or a blog, submitted at www.liveon.net. Further, suicide prevention organizations looking to better serve people with disabilities can contact us for consultation and training.
“There is no doubt that Live On has the potential to save lives,” says Dominick Evans, a Project Coordinator for the Live On campaign. “This is the first project of its kind in the United States to directly speak to disabled people who have been placed at the margins of society and told that their lives don’t matter.”