About Speaking Advocates
The Speaking Advocates are speakers with disabilities who advocate through sharing stories. By combining the art of storytelling with public speaking skills, they challenge misconceptions about what it means to live with a disability, demonstrating that we are all more alike than different. This group evolved from our Opening Minds, Opening Doors project, 2013-2017.
To join Speaking Advocates, we encourage you to attend our bimonthly happy hour or enroll in one of our classes. Graduates go on to present at various events, large and small—from storytelling groups to state conferences, college classes to disability awareness trainings, and everything in between.
The Speaking Advocates Happy Hour is a fun virtual space for folks with disabilities to hang out, chat, play games, and more! Each month we welcome different bartenders to help us unwind with light conversation and social activities. Join us every third Tuesday of the month from 5 to 6 PM!
The Lion and The Pirate Open Mic
We invite both seasoned and aspiring speakers to join us at our free and inclusive monthly open mic in partnership with the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and Malvern Books. Share a story, poem, song, or other talent in a fun and supportive neighborhood space. Even if you don't have something to present, you’re sure to have a blast enjoying the entertainment and mingling with other creative folks.
True Tales by Disability Advocates is a podcast produced by Art Spark Texas' Speaking Advocates Program. This podcast features authentic voices of people thriving with disabilities who share stories of their journey to advocacy.
Opening Minds, Opening Doors (OMOD)
Each spring we offer an intensive six-week writing workshop where each participant develops an engaging personal story to present at a community showcase. This class is typically held on Saturday afternoons. View our complete curriculum here.
Thank You to Our Funders!
Our Speaking Advocates program was made possible through generous support from the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) and the Texas State Independent Living Council (TxSILC).