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HeartShare’s inclusion opportunities extend to higher education. Adults from HeartShare’s Day Habilitation Programs have had the opportunity to learn and grow in a college setting. Spearheaded by NYU Tandon School of Engineering instructor Allan Goldstein, HeartShare program participants were first offered the chance to attend a photo workshop. Following that, the participants of Brooklyn Day Hab Program enrolled in a Disabilities Studies course. Both educational experiences–the workshop and the class–are focused on utilizing artistic expression to dissolve social barriers between people with and without disabilities. The workshops and Disabilities Studies course actively promote inclusion through a dynamic mix of HeartShare program participants and budding NYU engineers.
For the photo workshop, students went out into the field to create narratives with the camera and practice photo composition concepts. HeartShare DSP Oswaldo Cardona noted, “It is touching to witness how much a person can grow if they’re just given the opportunity to learn.” From sitting in on classes to offering feedback to program participants on their projects, Cardona has enriched the learning process for them. The Disabilities Studies course provides a platform for HeartShare program participants to find their voices through a short auto-biographical film. “My HeartShare students are sharing their ideas and what it’s like to live with a disability. It’s a fitting platform for self-advocacy. It also affirms and reinforces our collective belief and confidence in everyone’s ability to learn if we provide those opportunities,” said Goldstein.