How spork! got started
SPORK! is an advocacy nonprofit and website for people who have cognitive, physical and non-apparent differences. Our main and most important goal is to validate the differently able by assisting in giving them a unique and united voice, whilst authentically representing their community.
We accomplish this goal by documenting the works of both individuals and businesses who support and fight for the differently able community, as well as creating an integrative network of resources for individuals, activists, designers and care workers. We also offer One-On-One ADA Consultations and inclusive program solutions.
While still in attendance at the School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago (2010), Whitney Hill and associate, Willa Crolius were both drawn to the idea of an informative magazine publication for those with non- apparent differences (i.e cognitive dysfunctions and learning differences). The new title that was created for the aforementioned groups was unique intellectual.
It was then decided that in order to truly represent and connect with the differently able community, there needed to be more informative and humanizing content than what was typically found in medical journals. And with there being an overall lack of collective published information specifically for adults with non- apparent differences, Whitney and Willa decided that one was desperately needed.
At the beginning of January 2013, Whitney started to develop SPORK!'s website and social media presence. She also decided to expand the scope of SPORK! by actively soliciting writers, volunteers and videographers who are/advocate for the differently able.
In September 2013, SPORK! became an Illinois nonprofit and on January 2016 (formally received November 2015), became 501 (c) 3 tax exempt. Whitney currently runs and manages both the website & nonprofit while offering reviews and consultancy services to individuals, while Willa serves on SPORK!'s Board Of Directors.
CollMe.org interviews spork! (2012)
The dynamic team behind Coll Me spoke with Whitney Hill, Director of SPORK! This is the earliest documentation of SPORK! coming together.
COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHRONICLE INTERVIEWs SPORK! (2015)
Elisabet Bernard from Columbia College Chronicle, interviews Maxx Quinn and Whitney Hill about Mental Illness & Health
Q & A
Questions & answers
WHY ARE YOU NAMED SPORK?
Unique. Quirky. Versatile. Beloved.
These are the words that describe the characteristics of a spork - a utensil that is neither a spoon or fork, (despite how it looks), but instead an independent merger of the two.
Following suit, regardless of ability or sub-culture within the differently able community, it's not difficult to feel caught between the seemingly pitted divide in our society; the able and differently able.
We are named SPORK! because we believe the very characteristics that make the differently able stand out, is the exact same thing that makes them unique, quirky, versatile and overall, beloved.
why do you use the term 'differently able' ?
Differently abled is a euphemistic term for someone who has been classed as disabled, handicapped, challenged, or having special needs. It can also apply to people with predominantly physical or cognitive challenges.
The description is thought to be more politically correct because it recognizes that even if people have cognitive and/or physical impairments, they still have abilities, contrary to the picture painted with the terms disabled or handicapped. Alas, such aforementioned terms can be very limiting towards the efforts for equality.