Disability History


When “you’re able to grasp onto a special interest … it’s a lot easier mental-health-wise and ability-to-live-wise”

Quote by Gentrice Petrie


Atlantis logo wall hanging

Image description: A piece of knitted fabric, featuring the logo of Atlantis Community. This logo features a stick figure of a person in a wheelchair, seated underneath a rainbow. The person has their arms raised over the head to pull apart a chain. The links of the chain are breaking.


Many of Gentrice’s special interests revolve around history. They are currently studying disability activism in Colorado, the location of Atlantis Community, Inc. Atlantis is a Center for Independent Living that ADAPT, a foundational disability rights organization, grew out of. Gentrice described being “completely captivated” the last time they visited Atlantis, whose logo is featured in this wall hanging.

Connecting to a special interest was especially important in the context of mental health. Gentrice told me about what they termed a “special interest vacation.” This was where they sat down with an autistic friend to practice having a special interest together for a day, so that they could  “walk away from this and think about what makes us individually happy, and hopefully lift both of ourselves up.” Gentrice shared that they and their friend were “stranded without assistance in therapies that I think really understand where we're coming from.” The idea for a special interest vacation came out of then asking, “what a good process for wellbeing for autistic people? And I think that [engaging with special interests] is one of them.”