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The Role Of Art In Bringing More Visibility To Disability17:07
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Ali Stroker accepts the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical award for Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" onstage during the 2019 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2019 in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
Ali Stroker accepts the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical award for Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" onstage during the 2019 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2019 in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

With Sacha Pfeiffer

Ali Stroker made history as the first wheelchair user to win a Tony award. A viral video from "America’s Got Talent" of an autistic man singing had people in tears. What do these moments mean for those with disabilities?

Guest

Ann Fox, professor of English at Davidson College, where she specializes in 20th- and 21st-century dramatic literature and disability studies. (@DavidsonENG)

From The Reading List

CNN: "Ali Stroker makes history as the first Tony award-winning actor in a wheelchair" — "In her history-making acceptance speech at the Tony Awards Sunday night, Ali Stroker spoke directly to the millions of young people watching with dreams like hers.

"'This award is for every kid watching tonight who has a disability, who has a limitation or a challenge, who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena,' she said. 'You are.'

"Stroker, 31, became the first actor in a wheelchair to win a Tony Award, earning Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her turn as Ado Annie in the widely celebrated revival of 'Oklahoma!' "

The Conversation: "How ‘America’s Got Talent’ contestant Kodi Lee shattered stereotypes about disability" — "If you haven’t seen Kodi Lee’s May 28 performance on “America’s Got Talent,” it’s worth a watch.

"The 22-year-old Lee is blind and has autism. His rendition of Leon Russell’s 'A Song for You' brought the crowd to its feet – and thrilled viewers at home.

"'Loved this moment so much! Stood up and cheered in my living room!' Oprah tweeted.

"Much of the media coverage portrayed Lee as someone who, in developing his musical ability to such a high level, overcame all odds – a common though sometimes troublesome trope used to describe people with disabilities who achieve any measure of success.

"Lee is certainly an exciting talent. But as someone who teaches a course on the intersection of disability and music, I was moved by other aspects of Lee’s performance as well.

"One challenge for people with disabilities can be that others tend to conflate their disability with their personality and identity. Their disability becomes the defining aspect of who they are, which can prevent people from realizing that those with disabilities can have rich interior lives.

"So listening to Lee sing about love – mature, adult love – I heard a 22-year-old man whose voice and delivery brimmed with emotion and rang with authenticity."

Allison Pohle produced this segment for broadcast.

This segment aired on June 11, 2019.

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