I collaborated with people with disabilities to produce these environmental portraits. They taught me to respect them as individuals - who wish neither to be glorified as heroes nor to be dismissed as damaged good because of their disability. I came to realize that when it was hard to look at them, that it was myself that needed closer scrutiny. At times I struggled to balance truth with possible exploitation, realizing that the most disrespectful thing I could do was make these subjects over into my own image.
This early work, B&W silver gelatin portraits of people with disabilities, began as an exploration of feelings I had about my experience as a physical therapist. The process of going into people's homes, and creating that work, eased the burden of chronic care giving; and stimulated an interest in advocacy and aesthetic learning. 40 of my portraits of individuals with disabilities were compiled in an awarding winning book, Just As I Am: Americans with Disabilities, and exhibited internationally.
It won a first place Independent Publisher Award (IPPY) and the Gustav Myers Award for books that effect social changefrom Boston University in 2222