2021 Paul G. Hearne Awardee: Noor Pervez

Noor Pervez is one of the recipients of AAPD’s 2021 Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Awards. Noor is a queer, Muslim disability activist and community organizer working at the intersection of faith, disability, race, LGBT+ issues, reproductive justice, and eating disorders. His project aims to start the creation of an English-language Easy Read translation of the Holy Qu’ran. This translation aims to provide all Muslims with intellectual disabilities access to the original holy text, nuances and all, and help them participate fully in their community’s discussions about it. The end product will also be a helpful reference for non-Muslim people with intellectual disabilities who want to better understand the Holy Qu’ran, as well as for English language learners and people with other disabilities that benefit from Easy Read. Noor was a part of ADA 30 in Color from the Disability Visibility Project where he discussed his relationship with faith and disability. Check out his recording and read more about his project to learn more context related to the Hearne Awardee in addition to the video below shared during the 2021 AAPD Gala.

Easy Read Quran: It Begins! | Noor Pervez | June 2021

When I began the Easy Read Quran project, my greatest fear was that nobody would care. I am so grateful that the start of this project has proven me thoroughly and completely wrong.

One of the first major public-facing pushes I made about the project was a thread on Twitter talking about why this mattered to me, and about the level of discrimination my community faced at every turn. What came of that surprised me. I had people from a variety of corners of the Muslim internet reach out to me to ask how they could help.

Shortly thereafter, I made a press kit about the project and put out a big push to everyone I could think of asking them to share it. It spelled out more about the project and its values and offered information about how people could apply for positions with the project. I was thrilled to get many people for the focus group and translator positions, but we still need more people to apply for the drafting positions!

If you know how to create content in an Easy Read format, or if you are a graphic designer capable of making easy to understand images and formatting a PDF: we need your help! You can learn more about how to apply for the Easy Read and/or Graphic Design positions here: linktr.ee/EasyReadQuran.

In the past few months, I’ve had the good fortune to give workshops regarding disability justice, and how an Easy Read Quran fits its purview. Among those were Masjid Al Rabia’s #MyDisabledRamadan, MASGD’s Ramadan planning, and plugs at other initiatives that include LGBT Muslims but are not specifically about us, such as Desi Rainbow Families and Allies. The project has also gotten wrapped into newsletters and care packages aimed at Muslims during Ramadan, such as those created by Hidayah. During this time I was also able to hold two AAPD Instagram takeovers!

I have also had a number of folks reach out privately, primarily Muslims who are I/DD and do not feel that they can speak publicly about that fact. Their feedback has largely been that this is one of the first times their identity has been explicitly acknowledged and seen as important or deserving of resources by the community. As a part of both communities, I understand that feeling. As a member of both communities, I feel furious that this is so often true.

I firmly believe that change only comes when communities demand it. I’m hoping this is where we start.
For more information about the Easy Read Quran, check out linktr.ee/EasyReadQuran.

ERQ Positions

Website Designer

The website designer will pick or design a theme for the ERQ website, create an accessible layout for the text provided (e.g. “about us”/bio, landing pages for the chapters, a link for donations, information about how people can volunteer, etc.), and update the website with text, logos, and more. Apply here.

Graphic Designer

This person will make graphics to accompany an Easy Read translation of the first two chapters of the Easy Read Qu’ran. They will also format the ERQ chapters’ spacing to fit general Easy Read formatting guidelines and make the final project into a screen-reader accessible PDF. Apply here.

Easy Read Translator

This person makes the actual text translation of the first two chapters of the Easy Read Qu’ran, making sure the text created is at or below a second-grade reading level. They must also work with the graphic designer to ensure that the graphics are supporting the text. Apply here.

Arabic/English Translation Consultant

This person will check to make sure that drafts of the ERQ chapters are communicating roughly the same ideas as the original content of the stories of the Holy Qu’ran, just in a simpler-to-understand format. This person will primarily be looking at the drafts and revisions but will be available for the occasional email question or brief meeting with the Easy Reader if necessary, in order to check on smaller parts of the content. Apply here.

Focus Group

This group will meet virtually to answer questions asked by the people who made the two Easy Read Qu’ran chapters. Those questions will help us make sure that the Easy Read Qu’ran is easy for lots of different kinds of people to understand. While application is mainly for Muslims who have an intellectual or developmental disability, if you identify as only one of the two and not both you are still welcome to apply. Apply here.

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