Friday, February 5, 2010

CCISD Stories, Educational Settings

This week, I was at the Copper Country ISD to work with a SAIL staff member and students with disabilities from Calumet and Houghton High Schools. We finished six digital stories. All were wonderful! SAIL will be presenting at the Michigan Special Education Conference on their work with students in doing digital stories. I found the following resources on Digital Storytelling in Education:

The Center for Digital Storytelling offers the following:

  • The three-day Educator Workshop
    is designed specifically for K-12 classroom teachers. Participants create shorter, first-person digital stories through the process outlined above and also have an opportunity to discuss useful tools and practical applications for introducing the methodology into a classroom setting.

  • The University of Colorado at Denver (CU), in conjunction with the Center, is offering a Digital Storytelling Certificate Program
    -- a series of three CU-transcripted, graduate-level courses in which participants develop the skills necessary to produce digital stories as well as facilitate their use across a wide range of educational and work settings. The Certificate Program consists of our three-day Standard or Educator workshop, a ten-week online course, a five-day Facilitator Intensive Training workshop, and a one-credit, self-paced implementation course. (I've done the 3 day and 5 day training so far, not sure I want the certificate but the online course might be interesting if I can find the $$!)
Here's some links to resources for DST in Education.
There are so many links and pages! Just do a Google Search! "Digital Storytelling in the classroom". Or "Digital Storytelling Education".

Friday, January 29, 2010

What's happening

I've been posting to the email list as interesting items come to my attention but haven't developed the habits yet to keep this blog updated. So here's a list of some of the resources and news over the past few months:
  • A new video has been posted on our MDRC Our Voices You Tube Channel, a story by James Ivy called Listen to My Dream.
  • I am traveling to Calumet MI next week to help out storytellers at Superior Alliance for Independent Living (SAIL). They are working with a group of students who have disabilities who are transitioning from school to life and will be doing a day of storytelling.
  • I was able to show some stories to a few people at a Peer Mentoring Training in Lansing last week for people in the community mental health system who have developmental disabilities.
Various Resources and News:
  • Thanks Norm for finding this article about storytelling! It covers some of the elements we talk about in our classes in a bit more depth.
  • We passed on this message to our email list:
    "Hello, this is a message from a new admin of Autistics Against Autism Speaks! First, thank you to all members who have started following the new Twitter account, after about two weeks we have almost a hundred followers! If you haven't done so already, you can follow us here:". Now, I need to ask for the help of every one of you, for a very special new video we're doing for the YouTube channel at The idea was thought of by @psychomia from Twitter, so thank you! Here's the plan: we want to make a video promoting the fact that autistic people and parents of autistic children are proud of their autism and, more importantly, that people on the autistic spectrum are equal to everyone else and are human beings just as much as neurotypical people. We want volunteers - whether they're so-called "low-functioning", "high-functioning", Asperger's or parents of children on the spectrum - to film themselves talk about these things and send the videos to us via e-mail at Obviously, to do this you will need to be happy with having your face on the internet, but that's it! You can film it on a webcam, a phone, a camcorder, iPod, or anything really! Just e-mail the videos to us at and we'll put it in the video. Thank you for reading, and a massive thank you in advance if you help out!"
  • Free online resources to do a story map for your digital story:
  • Wouldn't if be great to have some students with disabilities enter this annual contest? C-SPAN's StudentCam is an annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think seriously about issues that affect our communities and our nation. Students are asked to create a short (5-8 minute) video documentary that responds to one of the topics listed below. To view the full list of competition rules and requirements.
  • ORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA, and MCLEAN, VA -- The Foundation of American
    Women in Radio & Television and The Academy of Television Arts &
    Sciences Foundation proudly announce a partnership with The Loreen
    Arbus Foundation that will focus on the needs, achievements,
    contributions and stories of citizens with disabilities to commemorate
    the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2010.
    The partnership creates The Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability
    Scholarship to be given to aspiring student television and filmmakers.
    The announcement was jointly issued by Sylvia Strobel, Interim
    President of American Women in Radio & Television, Terri Clark,
    Executive Director of the Television Academy Foundation, and Loreen
    Arbus. Both scholarships will be presented at the April 10, 2010
    College Television Awards, the Television Academy Foundation’s annual
    celebration of the best in student television, digital and film work
    in the U.S.

    AWRT’s competition will challenge students to create a 60 second
    Public Service Announcement (PSA) that tells the compelling story of
    disability in America, the societal changes effected by the Americans
    with Disabilities Act that have enabled them to become more
    independent and self-sufficient, and the remarkable contributions
    Americans with disabilities have made. The PSA will be prominently
    displayed on AWRT’s web site and social media outlets and will be
    showcased during the Television Academy Foundation’s College
    Television Awards this coming April, and at the July 2010 National
    Summit on Disability Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.

    On behalf of the Television Academy Foundation, one of the
    scholarships will recognize a young talent whose work sheds light on
    people with disabilities, helps emerging artists gain recognition and
    increases visibility for artists with disabilities. The scholarship
    will be presented to student writers, producers or directors with
    disabilities, producers of content focused on people with
    disabilities, or to a piece that features one or more actors with

    Holding the distinction of serving as the first woman in the U.S. to
    head programming for two cable networks, Showtime and Cable Health
    Network/Lifetime, Loreen Arbus is a disability rights activist
    committed to her work with United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), the
    organization founded by her parents, Isabelle and Leonard H.
    Goldenson, Founder/Chairman, ABC. The fifth-largest U.S. health
    agency, UCP serves and advocates on behalf of more than 54 million
    Americans with disabilities.

    Television Academy Foundation: American Women in Radio & Television:
    Pam Golum/Michael Samonte Amy Lotz
    The Lippin Group/LA (703) 506-3290
    (323) 965-1990
  • A found a new story about a disability experience posted on Stories for Change - FYI: Out of Darkness
  • I thought you may like this collection of stories at Ohio State.
  • In early November, the IML hosted a group of 4-year-old preschool students, who learned about video cameras, story structure and basic editing in a revised version of our Digital Storytelling and Recombinant Narrative Workshop. The students responded exceptionally well, using their love of stories as a foundation for thinking through screen-based narrative.
  • Captioning Resource: Captioning YouTube Video and Providing Accessible Controls.
That's it for now! Thanks for sharing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Some captioning resources

I am attending a Target center webinar on captioning today. It will be recorded if you want to see it later. Here are some resources:

Caption Tube: It's a free online resource for captions. Will connect to your videos on You Tube if you have a Google account.

This great website/organization

They have a wealth of resources on captioning. You can download a PDF of the captioning Key FYI. It's also on the web page.

The site also has information about audio description.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Today I received a call from Elicia at the Superior Alliance for Independent Living in Marquette. She's helping someone make a digital story who wants to show it to the Commission for Blind. They'll need to add audio descriptions to make the video accessible. We talked about adding a voice track with the descriptions in Audacity to the main narration and music tracks. Then export the project with the 3 tracks as a .wav to import into PhotoStory, which only allows one sound file to be imported. They'll need to do two versions of the video, one with and one without audio description. I suggested they use a different person's voice than the narrator for the description. They'll also need to be sure there are enough pauses in the main narration to insert the descriptions.

I sent her some resources on descriptive video I found on the web:

Audio Description (AD) is the descriptive narration of key visual elements of live theatre, television, movies, and other media to enhance their enjoyment by consumers who are blind or have low vision. AD is the insertion of audio explanations and descriptions of the settings, characters, and action taking place in such media, when such information about these visual elements is not offered in the regular audio presentation.

Guidelines for Audio Description:


I've been wanting to add audio description for sometime. While I've done some research to learn about them, I just haven't had or made the time to do it. Ideally I'd like to have a player on our web page that would play both open and closed captions and open or closed audio descriptions. Though I found a player that should do this, I just don't have the technical knowledge and skills needed to include it on our web page. I hope to find someone who can help me with this! (If you know a resource, please let me know!)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Long Time, addition


One more thing I forgot to add! I presented about the Many Faces One Voice project in June at the 1st Annual Peer Specialist Conference "Recovery Hope & Healing: Living Longer - Living Stronger." The presentation was very well received. As part of this, I developed a resource list which added some links about Storytelling and Recovery:

  • “I think that my recovery began the moment I dared look back on my life. Until then, there had been only one official story. An essential part of recovery is to look back at what has happened to you and to make your own story about it. In fact, you rewrite your history such that it suits you. You claim right of ownership over your own expe­riences. What is important is that you and no one else, give meaning to what has happened.” -\

  • "…everyone has a victim narrative, and you need to tell it and know you’ve been heard before you can move on to becoming a survivor or hero. Victim narratives are not helpful if you never move on from narrating them; if you remain permanently stuck in the victim’s role.”-From the blog A Storied Career

  • Northern CMH Photobiography Project – DVD: To See What I See: The Stigma of Mental Illness

  • Confessions of a non-compliant patient - By Judi Chamberlin

  • Recovery Stories from the National Empowerment Center:

  • The Potential Role of Life-Writing Therapy in Facilitating ‘Recovery’ for Those with Mental Illness -

  • Nonprofit storytelling—beware of impact stories that don’t link to public policy -

Long Time!

I realize good intentions aside, this is the first update in a quite a while! Not too much going on but the project is still happening, slower without the grant funding. Here's just a quick summary of recent activity:
  • Melinda Haus Johnson, Theresa Squires, Laura Hall and I presented at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit this July. The title was "Our Pride, Your Pity" and was about changing how people with disabilities are portrayed the media. Both Melinda and Laura showed their stories as part of this presentation.
  • I started a class at Community Connections in Benton Harbor this summer. It looks like we'll be finishing at least 3 stories over the next few weeks.
  • We've been providing some consultation and technical assistance to staff at SAIL in Marquette as part of their mini grant from the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council to the Alger Marquette RICC. I am returning in the next month or so to help them get videos posted on the web and talk about ways to help people use their videos in advocacy efforts.
  • We had some discussions with a group in the Traverse City area about helping with a class for people to tell stories about recovery from mental illness but the funding was a barrier here (so far).
So a quick update, hope to get more videos posted soon!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Digital Story Telling Update!

Though the funding from the AT&T Excelerator Program ended, the Many Faces, One Voice Project continues! We are looking forward to new stories:
  • The people I worked with at the Superior Alliance for Independent Living (SAIL) in Marquette are now teaching 24 school students who have disabilities to tell their stories.

  • Norm Delisle showed some stories at the Recovery Council. As a result, we are talking with a group in Northern Lower Michigan about holding a class this spring.

  • SAIL received a mini grant from the Developmental Disabilities Council to work with members of the Alger/Marquette RICC to create digital stories. They are working with the group now and we'll start classes in April.

  • As a result of attending our presentation at the Michigan Rehabilitation Conference, a RICC in Bay county is planning to create digital stories to use in their advocacy efforts.
We continue to increase our skills and build our capacity to do this work.
  • We are exploring the use of netbooks to create stories. The cost is comparatively low and since we use free and web-based software, these mini laptops might be able to handle the work.

  • We've found a flash video player that can play open and closed descriptive video, but this isn't available on You Tube or other sites. We continue to look for ways to add descriptive video to the stories. We need technical support to add the player to our website while we advocate with others to increase accessibility.
Check back! There's been a surge of new interest in the project and we'll keep you posted!