"Mr. Mozgala hopes that artists themselves will create opportunities. His company, the Apothetae, has commissioned playwrights with this aim. “My community, and the history of disabled people, is fascinating,” he said. “Me just walking across the street — there’s something dramatic going on.”
This "Hot Cripple" Series is an experiment; an effort to bring attention to the fact that Disability isn't necessarily synonymous with Ugly- as in Ugly Laws, which proliferated this country for over a century.
This month we feature doctor, activist and former paralympic athlete, Anjali Forber Pratt
From the good doctor's website...
Born in Calcutta (now known as Kolkata) India, Anjali lived in an orphanage for two and a half months before being adopted by her family from Natick, Massachusetts. Two months after arriving in the United States, she contracted an illness resulting in the diagnosis of transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord. Rushed to the hospital, she was not expected to live. However, she survived, paralyzed from the waist down.
Anjali was introduced to the world of sports at the young age of five. She attended a sports clinic for children with disabilities at the Massachusetts Hospital School in Canton, MA. Exposed to a variety of sports, Anjali took a strong liking to track. She quickly excelled and by the age of nine she was competing at the national level in track and field.
She is the former world record holder in the 200m. She focuses on the sprints, namely the 100m, 200m and 400m events.
Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor at the Department of Human & Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University. Her research agenda adopts a social-ecological framework and looks at issues surrounding identity, equity and empowerment through methodology for individuals who are different in some way, with a large focus on disability. Forber-Pratt has a strong background in qualitative methodology and her research focuses on individuals who struggle to succeed due, in part, to some difference that has labeled them outside the mainstream. Those differences include, and are not limited to, disability, race, gender, and sexual orientation. Her work cuts across education (elementary, secondary, postsecondary), sports, work, and quality of life contexts.
Globally, she is involved with disability advocacy efforts related to access to education, employment and sport through public speaking and media appearances. Dr. Forber-Pratt has appeared on several television programs and radio shows including: NPR; The Stream; and Sesame Street; and has been quoted in the national print press, including The Boston Globe, New York Times, Huffington Post, USA Today, and Runner’s World. She was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change in 2013 and had an opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with President Obama about disability policy issues.
The Apothetae is a new theatre company dedicated to the production of new full-length plays and existing plays in the theatrical cannon that deal with the"Disabled Experience."