Frequently Asked Questions


Why is it important to transcribe these documents?
Justin Dart's 'Discrimination Diaries' and the 'It's Our Story' video oral histories represent the disability community's most comprehensive record of its past; first and foremost, transcription means that these records can be accessible.  Handwritten documents, once transcribed, are generally much easier to put into a format accessible to visually impaired individuals.  Videos, once transcribed, can be easily subtitled for those with hearing impairments.

Having an electronic, digitally readable transcription of every document and video will also be essential as "It's Our Story" sets up a first-of-its-kind online database and video editor.  Once complete, this site will allow users to keyword search every word in every transcription, offering the world a fast, easy, and effective way to learn about our community's history.

What is the long-term goal of the "It's Our Story" project?
The long term goal, as mentioned above, is to create an online database that will allow users to easily search through thousands of pages of documents, as well as thousands of hours of video, to find the stories that define our community's experience.

The database will include a groundbreaking free online video editing program.  This program will empower users to become storytellers as the edit together videos, photographs, and documents to create their own tellings of the events that define our community's history.

Where did these documents and video come from?
Justin Dart, Jr. (1930-2002) compiled the thousands of pages that comprise the 'Discrimination Diaries' in the years leading up to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  The diaries were presented to
Congress and were critical to that bill's passage.

The videos that comprise the "It's Our Story" oral histories were recorded by Scott Cooper over a span of four years.  He followed the same route that Justin Dart, Jr. traveled during the compilation of the 'Discrimination Diaries.'  Scott interviewed many of the leading members of the Disability Rights Movement about their experiences.


Can't I just copy and paste text from the Master PDF File to the Word doc transcription form?
For type-written pages in the Master PDF File, you will normally be able to copy and past that text into the transcription form.  Hand-written pages must be manually transcribed.

How should I format my transcriptions in the Individual Transcription Form?
If possible, please format your transcriptions singe-spaced.  If copying-and-pasting text, please preserve Italics and Bold typeface.

What if I find pages in my state's Master PDF File that seem to be out of order?
Please transcribe pages of the master PDF files only according to the uniform page number found in the bottom left-hand corner of the page, regardless of whether or not the content from page to page seems to be out of order.

If you find pages that are incorrectly ordered, please note this on the Individual Transcription Form for those pages.


This page is still under construction.  We invite you to write any questions you have about our project in the comments area below.  Thank you.