This is a post that I’m really excited to write, and I’ve been looking forward to sharing with all of you! I mentioned Inclusive Innovation week very briefly last week here, but I wanted to devote a whole post to it so I could give it the time and attention that it deserves.
Inclusive Innovation PGH is a city-wide initiative to make sure that everyone in Pittsburgh has equal access to products and services. It’s a joint collaboration between different city departments, and each year, they hold a week-long event called Inclusive Innovation Week. Throughout that week, different organizations and businesses in the community hold events of all kids to demonstrate Pittsburgh’s commitment to inclusion. This year, I was lucky enough to join a committee of disability advocates in Pittsburgh who wanted to plan an event to make sure that Pittsburgh considers the needs of the disability community when thinking about inclusion.
Inclusive Innovation Week will be help April 2-8 this year. You can check out the schedule here – there are so many amazing events to choose from! But there are two that I specifically want to highlight – the All-in Silent Disco, and CMU’s Sustainability Weekend (not yet on the schedule).
The All-in Silent Disco is the event that I have been working hard to plan with my fellow disability advocates! We wanted to plan a fun, inclusive event where people of all abilities could have a good time. If you’ve never heard of a silent disco, it’s a dance where the music is played through headphones that attendees on the dance floor wear, rather than out loud over speakers. If you take the headphones off, you can hear each other and talk without having to scream over loud music! Our silent disco, which will be held at the Ace Hotel, also features vibrating backpacks and floor tiles that vibrate to the beat, allowing people with hearing impairments to join in on the fun. We’ll also have some representatives from local organizations working towards disability representation and inclusion to help attendees broaden their perspectives and think about disability inclusion in their everyday lives.
The other event I’ll be participating in is the Transit and Equity Panel, part of CMU’s student-run Sustainability Weekend conference. I’m really passionate about making sure people with disabilities have access to all types of transit, and so excited to share my opinions and experiences as part of this panel discussion!
I’d love to see you at either/both of these events – you can check out the links I’ve shared or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.