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Disability: Images and Thoughts

Exploring Disability:
Images and Thoughts

David Alan Feingold Gallery



David Alan Feingold is a doctoral student in disability studies at National-Louis University, "a school social worker by profession and an artist by necessity." The images on this page reflect as well David's experiences with closed head injury, bipolar disorder, and ADHD. They are made available on Serendip as contributions to further conversation about human diversity, brain and behavior, mental health, and disabilities and cultural evolution.

Your thoughts are important contributions to this gallery. Click on any image for an enlargement, together with an on-line forum where you can add whatever thoughts that image triggers in you, and then read and respond to the thoughts of others. More general thoughts about the gallery are welcome in the on-line forum below.

See Background for information about David and his commentaries on his images, and An Evolving Exploration of Disability for more recent reflections.

For a related exhibit focusing on eating disorders, see Measure for Measure.



Exhibit developed and posted by Paul Grobstein and Laura Cyckowski 14 October 2008.


kim  abrams's picture

learning disability

i had a learning disability since i was young but my mom didnt do notting about i have to teens and i cant get a job or make something of my self i haveing troulbe fighting for disa bility because i am older 44 . no body wonts to higher me for job and the collage i went to told me i coulnt finish school because of my speacil diloma and went to speacils shcools they said i couldnt stay there i was there for seven months for notting my grades were ddd ffff i felt very upset thyat i coulnt pass the test to be a medcail assistant .disabilty should be aprove for people older to get disabilty its age discrimination which i can get a good job thats pays good.

Serendip Visitor's picture

You have the right to a higher education

Please use this site as a means to advocate for yourself.

David Feingold's picture

learning disability

Hello Kim,
What an unfortunate story. One that too many people can tell because it happens far too often. If you would like, please feel free to reach me at my personal email address and I would be happy to talk to you about your situation further.
Thank you for sharing your experience and feelings. You are to be commended for putting forth such wonderful effort.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
David Feingold

Somebody's picture

Your pictures scare me, but

Your pictures scare me, but they are interesting and creative

kevin.anchi's picture

Disability History Project

The Disability History Project” is a National Public Radio documentary series about the shared experience of people with disabilities and their families since the beginning of the 19th century. The companion website, which features audio transcripts, text transcripts, images, timelines, primary source documents, interviews, and other resources, provides the main source of information for the students’ literacy activities. Students will use what they learn to create a visual presentation and answer comprehension questions.

David Santella's picture

finding work

Hello! I am recently disabled and am having a very hard time finding a job. My disability is a memory problem resulting from some very successful brain surgery I had some time ago. I am also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that would like to help other families cope with this problem as well as other physical and mental problems that disrupt the family system.

I am hoping that you can give me some ideas of how to present myself in a way that is attractive to agencies and companies that are potential employers. Right now I think my erratic work history caused by my vey long recovery is making it very hard for people to give me serious consideration.

Melanie's picture

Great pictures

WoW! I like your pictures very much. They would be look fine in my living-room! In Duesseldorf we have a painting-store for this kind of pictures too. I love the style. Great work!

Ann Dixon's picture

Course Exploring Disability

 Please feel warmly welcome to come check out a class this semester that is exploring disability.

Mike10613's picture

David Alan Feingold Gallery

I like the art and it conveys a message or messages. I'm useless at visual art except photography but I'm a writer and express myself best in comedy. I thought I may have had ADHD as a child and still do to a certain extent. I'm obsessive about the novel I've written - reading it over and over trying to get it perfect. I can't remember people's names but did a test the other day on pictures of people and scored really high on remembering faces. Keep doing what you think you're good at and to hell with everyone who doesn't understand...

Paul Grobstein's picture

more from David Feingold on art ...

"When my (or anyone's) artwork 'clicks' with some people, even despite its visceral content, we mutually take flight and reach flow through the "windows into the quintessence of the human experience"."

See A Brain State Within Ourselves

eric's picture


YES! Some of your art pictures are.... simply great. hoping to find more of them in the net

Anonymous's picture


I think I should be saddened or something slightly less than frightened (would need to look up a word but I'm being lazy), but I think these images are beautiful....that weird?

Fliesen billiger's picture

great pictures

YES! Some of your art pictures are.... simply great. hoping to find more of them in the net

David Feingold's picture

Art pictures

Thank you so much for your kind words and interest in my artwork, Fliesen. If you'd like, I'd be happy to email some of my other images to you directly. Perhaps Professor Grobstein can send me your email if you give him permission.

Anonymous's picture


God this one is emotionally painful. A 23 year old was stabbed last night and left for dead. I cried when I heard the news grateful is wasn't my son. I first saw abortion in this one, but left for dead at any age is so devasting. Whether it is a physical dead, or an emotional dead; dead is still dead. There are worse things in life than physically dying; Living with abandonment, isolation, oppression...

Serendip Visitor's picture

dead is still dead

Thank you for sharing this. I like to read articles, opinions that focus on PTSD, Stroke, agoraphopia , anti-social/ engaging in dangerous or risky behaviour occuring or manifesting themselves after a traumatic brain injury.TBI. The part for me that has been the hardest to cope with is the dissolving of some close relationships due to lack of education, understanding, and alot of fear based mentalities. The things that have really stuck with me are the stories I hear of life with a TBI.The football player who comitted suicide because he lacked serious impulse control. The number of marraiges that fall apart because " Your just not the same anymore." One soldier said it would almost be easier for people to have an amputated limb. Something that is visable to others. Perhaps they would have more empathy. The walking wounded is what we are now. My whole life changed at 38 years old after a series of strokes . It's been astonishing how people have reacted to this. I'm glad I'm still alive.... Some people just don't WANT to get what it's like to have brain damage. Some don't see anything really wrong with you. I've been in seclusion for almost 4 years after the fact. I will go outside But not very often, DR.'s appt.s, osteopathic manipulations etc....I don't trust myself to drive anymore . It can be terrifying to be a passenger in someones elses car. It feels like they are going way too fast, even if they are doing the speed limit ! was once very social . I can hardly stand being around people. Public places can be a nightmare.I have a certified therapy dog that assists me with my balance and a lot of my issues stemming from this. She's my unconditional love now and the only one I honestly want near me. Thanks again for posting , reading and sharing this perspective. I'd welcome comments from people that have similiar stories about right thalamic strokes, dystonia , depression, Thalamus pain syndrome....Be well ALL.

Anonymous's picture

crazy community

So sad, but hopeful...I have no community where I reside. Alone is better, but I would want to hold you. Protect you, and keep you safe in spite of your community. I wish you could see you through my eyes...HOPE...UNDERSTANDING...UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

Anonymous's picture

It's genetic

This is the most powerful feeling I have had. I do believe that these disorders are very much misunderstood. I also see in my own life how anything that was once "good" about me, can now be twisted into another reason for my labels...Personally I have diagnosed myself with Alpha Bitch Cind roam!!! I am now working on changing the "BITCH" into "FEMALE". This is how I feel towards the medical community I got stuck with. They are putting an evil spin on who I am, and have always been. It is a perception that is colored with bias! Evil Evil Evil!

Anonymous's picture

disability thing

I see the wasted potential of the learning area. It's as though it's not worth using the room? Me...Now labeled...they turned off the lights, and shut the door. I feel like "they" have "taken" my potential from me!

Anonymous's picture

cold day in hell

"The kingdom of heaven is upon us". Urgency... what am I waiting for? The radio? is my calm in the hell I sometimes get caught up in... the skulls are "the after death" looking into the windows of individual souls. One peeper always watchng for a way to be invited into my "life". An unlocked window is all it takes, and the all HELL BREAKS LOOSE... I can always change the radio station...illusion of control over my self? I was told I ABSOLUTELY could not control myself without medication! Well doctor, it appears as though I found my cold day in hell...heehee

Anonymous's picture

Tortured student soul

The eyes creeped me out. My brain can't seem to put the image with the caption. What I saw was how I feel, outside looking in on a A world that is tortued, but the chair was empty. Eyes watching...Chair waiting for who? The shadow is anyone of us. We are all students here. Until we die there are lessons to be learned. The bars seem like the oppression I feel, the isolation I feel, and the inability to reach into the world, and ease some of the suffering I see. I don't like this painting emotionally, but mentally it is quite thought provoking.

Anonymous's picture

My hidden disabilities

I realized sleep has always been my freedom from the pain of my physical diabilities, AND now I realize the affect my dream thoughts have on my waking mood...They can create a mental road block if not seen for what they are...just left overs...Those feelings don't have to have a bearing on my day.

Anonymous's picture

Eye in Eye

What I saw is what I have been doing...seeing past what my eyes want me to believe. What I read made me realize that while someone tagged me with a "weakness", my strenths became my focus. Admitting to a flaw removed the pressure to overcompensate...Ahhhh!

fonts's picture

My favorite is "Eye in Eye

My favorite is "Eye in Eye Strengths". Great comment to this work was made by jrlewis: "Mirrors and reflection. Playing with the relationship between parts and the whole."

margpt's picture

Wow! Great to see your use

Wow! Great to see your use of art... Helps me know anouther demention of you...

Keep the faith.

Paul Grobstein's picture

More about the gallery and the artist

This exhibit is designed to encourage visitors to respond directly to the images, and then to use those responses, both their similarities and their differences, as part of continuing conversation about disabilities and how they are/should be dealt with in our culture. An additional important part of the conversation is the artist's own sense of what the images are about, and the context in which they were created. After posting your own responses to the individual images, see Background for David's thoughts about the images and their creation. And then post here whatever thoughts all this triggers in you about what "diabilities" mean, and how we might think differently about them.
Orisha Osborne's picture


We were all created in God mind to be unique and individual, beings, each one with gifts and talents to be shared trough out life’s journey. It in the sharing of ourselves that we begin to see the beauty and the wonder that make us such a wonder blend of difference.

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