What's Your Story?


What's Your Story?

Indiana Disability History Project

Tell Your Story

Indiana Disability History Project

Picturing My World

Irene and Brenda

photo of Irene and Brenda

Picturing My World

Don Robinson's Story

photo of Don and his cat

Kentucky Childhood

Granddad Stinson and Grandma Stinson

photo of Granddad Stinson and Grandma Stinson

My First Permanent

1930's Perm Machine

photo of 1930's Perm Machine

John Walker’s WWII Letters Relate War Experience

Sep 22nd, 2014 by Jennifer | 2
by Cynthia Long

 photo of John WalkerMy grandfather, John Walker volunteered for service in WWII. He was in the Battle of Normandy and completed boot camp at Camp Croft in South Carolina. He was in Army Infantry Division #115. While in boot camp he recalled marching in the rains at night for hours and digging a fox hole so deep that a tank could drive over and no one got hurt. He spoke of sleeping, eating, and celebrating his birthday in one of these fox holes with his entire troop around.

John was stationed in Germany, Holland and France. While in France he wrote in one of his many letters to his wife, Winnie Stacy Walker, back in Hazard, Perry County Kentucky about him and his troop sitting in a cow pasture listening to Dinah Shore sing and described the farm homes around him. An excerpt from one of John Walker’s letters to his Winnie reads: “Today is such a beautiful day here in Germany. Right now, I am on a beautiful farm which has been untouched by the war. I am sitting out in the sun all alone writing this letter. All kinds of birds are singing. People are working on their fields as if there is not a war going on. This farm is much like one of our Bluegrass farms except there is not sign of tobacco or race horse. All the horses are very large work horses. There are some fine flocks of white leghorn chickens and several hogs and sheep. The houses on these farms are regular mansions.”

continue reading » »

Writer Recalls Childhood Memories in Connersville City Cemetery

Sep 20th, 2014 by Jennifer | 0

In November 1978 when I was 13 years old, I was fortunate enough to be able to witness the excavation of a body in the City Cemetery. The body to be excavated was Caleb Blood Smith, a former member of Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet.

There was, and still is today a mystery about where Smith was buried. In 1864 his wife, Elizabeth Watton Smith, paid $500.00 for the plot of her choice in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis who had died suddenly on January 7th, 1864 while serving as a federal judge had originally been buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in Indianapolis. Mrs. Smith decided to have her husband’s body moved to Crown Hill Cemetery. There was no protection from vandals in Greenlawn Cemetery, and frequently boys from the town would run carelessly through the cemetery, knocking down markers. continue reading » »

The Struggles of Going Undiagnosed Until Adulthood

Jul 10th, 2014 by admin | 0

photo of interviewee Andee Joyce

It wasn’t until Andee was 44 years old that she was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. She shares her experiences with growing up without a diagnosis and how it affected her life.

In this video interview, Andee explains why it is that adults her age might have no idea they have austism spectrum disorder. “We can go overlooked because by the time we’re in our 30s or 40s we’ve learned a lot of masking skills.” No amount of effort was enough to overcome the challenges she faced when she had no clue to their origin. “It’s like I just tried, and tried, and tried, and tried so hard, you know, to make people like me.” She shares the great relief she’s experienced, gaining the insights provided by her diagnosis. “It was like somebody turned on the light and I just went oh, that’s what this is, that’s why I react this way. This is why other people react this way to me.” continue reading » »

My Grandmother’s Stay at an Indianapolis Orphanage

May 1st, 2014 by jeharlan | 0

Pentecostal Orphanage - click for larger formatOrphanage Children with Matron and Assistant, outside headquarters of the Pentecostal Church in Indianapolis, Indiana
undated; taken between 1902 and 1908 by Leander Studios of Chicago continue reading » »

Why Living Downtown Works

Nov 21st, 2013 by admin | 0


Katrina Gossett chose to live in a downtown Indianapolis neighborhood close to stores, services, and parks, so that she can be independent. She has a service dog and uses a wheelchair. “I’ve noticed that the stores and restaurants have made an effort to become accessible even though the [older] architecture is not ideally designed for it.” Through Gossett’s eyes, we understand how unobstructed pathways, smooth curb cuts, accessible shop entrances, and automatic door openers within her reach can make a difference. Although there are remaining barriers, she applauds the city for “really making strides. They’re making downtown a more exciting and vibrant place.” continue reading » »

Struggling to Find a Job

Nov 21st, 2013 by admin | 0

photo of Sylvia_Jackson

Sylvia Jackson worked for Nation Able Network’s Senior Community Employment Program until she found herself in the same situation her clients had been, out of a job. Her many interviews have not yielded employment, despite a positive attitude and willingness “to do 150 percent.” “I’m competing against people much younger and people who do not have disabilities.” Jackson has a mobility impairment.  She describes having to do a “very painful” short sale of her home to avoid foreclosure. “I feel bad for all my clients that I helped,” she says. “I don’t think the federal government understands that when you cut somebody off from this program you’re just dumped, you’re done.” continue reading » »

I Believe I Can Make a Difference

Nov 21st, 2013 by admin | 0

photo of Doug_Hughes

Doug Hughes is a longtime resident of south side Indianapolis, where he takes a leadership role in improving his community. “We want to make it the neighborhood, not the ‘hood.’  We want to get rid of the stereotype to make it better.” Despite transportation challenges — “whether I have to roll down there, or I have to take Metro, or have my staff take me” — he goes to schools to do conflict resolution, attends crime watch meetings. “I refuse to sit there and let it go undone.” Hughes owns his own home. He’s active in his church and its youth ministry. “I love the kids. It changed my life. They know I have a disability but they don’t look at my disability, they look at my ability.” continue reading » »

Announcing the Indiana Disability History Project

Dec 17th, 2012 by admin | 0

logo for Indiana Disability History Project
The Center on Aging and Community at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community is embarking on an exciting initiative to document historical highlights of the history of disability in Indiana. Recognizing the importance of preserving and promoting public understanding of this history, the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities and Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services are partnering with us to carry out the project. continue reading » »

We’re Back!

Dec 17th, 2012 by admin | 0

The Museum of the Person USA website is online again. Due to technical difficulties, museumoftheperson.org was down for an extended period. We regret any inconvenience to our visitors. We’re confident the site is now in great working order. You’ll notice some improvements. For example, you can now log in with your Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo or Linked In accounts, in addition to WordPress. We’re ready for your stories, images, and comments!


The ADA in Indiana: A People’s History

Jun 25th, 2010 by admin | 0

Find videotaped oral histories from people affected by, and/or instrumental in the implementation of, the Americans with Disabilities Act in Indiana. More videos to be added to the YouTube site.