DISCAPAZ: Disability Experience in the Borderlands

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DISCAPAZ: Disability Experiences in the Borderlands

A multimedia project aimed at centering the voices and narratives of individuals with disabilities and their families living along the Arizona-Sonoran border.


Using artistic and creative expression, this project is focused on documenting, analyzing and sharing stories of lived experience with disability, highlighting the unique strengths and resilience of individuals, families and communities. Using a humanities lens with a health focus, the project aims to expand experiential learning and research opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, as well as postdoctoral trainees, highlighting the practice and value of narrative-making in individual, institutional, and community advocacy. 

Individuals with disabilities are being engaged in storytelling through: 

  • Art-based story crafting workshops
  • In-depth interviews
  • Multimedia expression 
  • Use of archival, community and personal artifacts
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Guided by individuals with lived experience and local community organizations, this project will collaboratively design and implement an open access, multilingual, web-based platform to share the digital stories and artifacts developed.


This project launches a new sustainable interdisciplinary experiential learning track for our Diversity Fellowship program that facilitates authentic engagement with border communities, addressing community-identified needs while amplifying disabled voices in the borderlands.


To learn more, please contact principal investigator Jacy Farkas at jkbell@arizona.edu



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The funding for this project comes from the University of Arizona Libraries Digital Borderlands Initiative, a three-year grant project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Libraries’ goal is to produce and disseminate new, open-access humanities scholarship on the U.S.-Mexico borderlands by integrating library services into a collaborative research process that emphasizes data-intensive, digital storytelling.