Risa Jaz Rifkind via Crowdrise
July 19, 2011
My name is Risa Jaz Rifkind, I’m 21 years old, born and raised in New York City. I am a political science major and will enter my senior year at Johns Hopkins University in Spetember, 2011. One other thing, I’m a little person and stand at a whopping 4 feet. My eye level is about that of a five year old making my daily perspective of life unique but more importantly my perspective on the world at large is very different than average size 21 year olds.
Through my personal experiences of not being able to reach the sink and soap in public bathrooms, not being able to get my electric scooter into buildings and not being able to see at the movies without the use of a child’s booster seat etc, I decided to explore accessibility in various metropolitan cities around the world to see how they deal with it ... or not.
I was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship from Johns Hopkins University to research and investigate firsthand how this is dealt with in other cultures. I'm specifically targeing London, Paris, Athens, Hong Kong and Seoul. I am slated to begin my journey on August 1, 2011.
I will investigate three main aspects of each society: transportation, tourism and disability accessibility of government buildings. My dream is to utilize two media platforms, blogging and video documentation, to visually expose the barriers that I will most likely encounter, to interview those officials responsible for making these civic decisions and to talk to people who are directly affected by these choices. At the same time, I will show some of the progressive solutions that some municipalities have implemented.
While my fellowship covers the cost of my personal expenses, it is not sufficient to cover the cost of filming this three-week journey.
We need to raise a minimum of $25,000 to cover the first phase of producing this documentary (i.e. London to Seoul). We are hoping you will help support this effort with a monetary donation and/or if you have any contacts or sources that would be interested in supporting this project please let us know. Time is of the essence, I am scheduled to leave the country on August 1st. (All contributions will be tax deductible.)