By December of 2012, the Visionary Voices oral history archive will contain fifty interviews with leaders of Pennsylvania's Intellectual Disability Movement. Interviewees were identified by the Visionary Voices Advisory Committee, and typically speak to four thematic areas: The Right to Education, Deinstitutionalization, Self-Determination, and Community Supports.
Visionary Voices interviews average two hours in length; occasionally, interviews are longer (our longest interview has a running time of just under six hours). The length of an interview is partly determined by the thematic area an interviewee is asked to address (some of our interviewees address more than one area; subsequently interviews are longer). We also recognize that everyone communicates differently; those individuals who need a little longer to share their stories are interviewed over two or three sessions.
Each Visionary Voices interview costs between $1000 and $1500 to produce; these costs include the video recording, transcription, file compression, open captioning, and uploading to our website. While we occasionally conduct interviews in our interviewees' homes or offices, most of our interviews are recorded in a studio on Temple University's Main Campus. There are benefits to this approach; working in a setting where we can control lighting and sound allows our two-person crew to work quickly, saving time and money. By keeping interview costs down, we can collect more histories. We also believe that the stylized look created through the use of a backdrop lends an immediacy and intimacy to the interviews, allowing viewers to more fully experience the power of each story.
It is our hope that visitors to the Visionary Voices site will enjoy its interactivity and the wide variety of information offered. Visitors can access a full transcript of each interview as a Word document, or as text that runs alongside each interview. Interviews are divided into chapters, but are not edited for content unless an interviewee, after reviewing the transcript of his/her interview, requests that certain information be restricted. Each interview is enriched by biographical information, production blogs, and archive photos, donated by our interviewees from their personal archives.
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