A great resource on all the different places you can find a weighted blanket/how to make one.
Resight Inclusive Arts is hosting two tactile art creation workshops. December 11th, 2013 from 1 to 3 and December 14th from 1:30 to 4 for kids. The charge is $5 for a work and a braille greeting card. Please contact us @ resightarts.com to register or for more information. We will have child minding for the adult class. Please share! Everyone is welcome.
Include: Observance of the Day provides opportunities for participation by all stakeholders – Governments, the UN system, civil society and organizations of persons with disabilities – to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in development, both as beneficiaries and agents.
Organize: Hold forums, public discussions and information campaigns to help find innovative ways and means by which persons with disabilities and their families can be further integrated into their societies and development plans.…
Celebrate: Plan and organize performances everywhere to showcase - and celebrate - the contributions made by persons with disabilities as agents of change and development in the communities in which they live.
Take Action: A major focus of the Day is practical and concrete action to include disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality. Highlight progress and obstacles in implementing disability-sensitive policies, as well as promote public awareness to break barriers and open doors: for an inclusive society for all.
Source: CCMW Facebook page.
I’m trying to email the Councillor for our respective region in Toronto in order to request the building of accessible swings at a nearby park.
If individuals with disabilities are flipping over on the swings or falling off due lack of motor coordination or balance, there is a serious problem. Even if it’s a porch swing, it will be nice for people of all ages and abilities. Wish me luck!
Excerpt from the email:
"Since there is a budget for converting the existing sports field to one with a synthetic turf, improved lighting, and bleachers, I am sure that we can participate in a dialogue for making the park more accessible. I believe this should be made a priority by those who are responsible for initiating changes in our community because there are several individuals with disabilities of all ages who live in our neighbourhood."
"I didn’t cry out and I didn’t weep when I was told that my son Henri was a prisoner in his own world, when it was confirmed that he is one of those children who don’t hear us, don’t speak to us, even though they’re neither deaf nor mute. He is also one of those children we must love from a distance, neither touching, nor kissing, nor smiling at them because every one of their senses would be assaulted by the odour of our skin, by the intensity of our voices, the texture of our hair, the throbbing of our hearts. Probably he’ll never call me maman lovingly, even if he can pronounce the word poire with all the roundness and sensuality of the oi sound. He will never understand why I cried when he smiled for the first time. He won’t know that, thanks to him, every spark of joy has become a blessing and that I will keep waging war against autism, even if I know already that it’s invincible. Already, I am defeated, stripped bare, beaten down.”
“It doesn’t matter if you and everyone else in the room are thinking it. You don’t say the words. Words are weapons. They blast big bloody holes in the world. And words are bricks. Say something out loud and it starts turning solid. Say it loud enough and it becomes a wall you can’t get through.”
― Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead
I try to be hesitant about checking people at social events when they are being politically incorrect re: disability related comments. I believe I shouldn’t be because by “checking others”, we are educating them. When somebody makes a comment and nobody checks them, there may not be an elephant in the room but there is definitely an elephant in my head and in my heart. Somebody once said, “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.” I would like to revise that saying: “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes, but be respectful about it.” I’ve blogged about the power of words before and how we need to be careful about the way we use words jokingly.
The word I’d like to focus on is “special.” How people mockingly call others “special” - indicating that they have special needs. When somebody takes a stab at a special education teachers being “special” or needing “Spec. Ed” themselves, I find that highly problematic. I also question what people insinuate when somebody does something out of the ordinary and the comment goes, “Oh you’re special.” In this context, I would say words are used as passive-aggressive weapons, even if the person using the words may not be conscious of their impact.
As of yesterday, I have learned that the key is to be respectful while responding to the use of such language. I disagree with the quote at the beginning of this blog post. I think you NEED to say the words. Instead of using your words as weapons, begin to use them as a means to remind others of how words are powerful. If you don’t say the words, you let it be and make it okay for a person - and by association many other people to continue using this type of language without concern for the population that is indirectly being referred to.
Say it out loud and solidify your words, using your passion but also exercising your concern for where other people come from. What are their intentions? Have they been exposed to the discrimination that you have or what others from the marginalized population have experienced? Do they need to be exposed to this type of discrimination in order to be politically correct? Why has society made it okay to use ableist language both jokingly and during serious conversations? Should able-bodied individuals be taking offense to ableist language? At a social event, one might ask, “Why so serious?”
A serious response is called for because by letting it happen and without checking on it, we are normalizing such language. In the future, let us educate respectfully.
Thank you to T.B. for stimulating this reflection.
— Jarod Kintz
If you go online, you can find napping “do’s and don’ts” for healthy adults. There are pros and cons of napping and specific ways to take a nap for healthy adults. By healthy, they mean “normal” and able-bodied. Children nap for 1-2 hours. For adults some say you should cap it off at 20-40 minutes. So you can imagine my surprise when of all things, I’m discussing the ideal nap time for a person with a disability. Of course I am.
Somebody introduced another perspective while I was arguing the merits of napping for shorter periods of time. If said person with a disability napped for a maximum of 40 minutes, not only would they be well rested but they would also fall asleep at night rather than staying awake and be mischievous. I was told that said person with a disability requires a lot more effort than the average person to process all sensory and non-sensory input. It takes a great deal of time and energy for people with disabilities to process, to move, to adjust, to <insert verb here>. So it only makes sense that depending on the person with the disability, the person may require more time to nap. Certain people with disabilities need to rest and refuel their body to approach the remainder of their day.
Try putting yourself in somebody else’s body today. Try to approach situations by not using the standard that is used for “normal” people. Keep in mind that these standards of what is healthy and what is good do not apply to individuals with congenital and acquired disabilities.
Taken from the PowerPoint presentation: Finding Hope: Survivors of ABI share their secrets moving forward by Mary-Ellen Thompson, Ph.D. and Fahmida Pardhan, M.A.
What struggles have people with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) faced in returning to community life?
• Sticking with rehabilitation
• Acceptance from others
• Learning to be independent
• Overwhelming expectations
• Lack of interest
• Loss of memory
• Loss of education
• Feeling alone
How did they overcome these struggles?
• Positive attitude
• Educating others
• Volunteer opportunities
• Artistic expression
• Support from family
• Brain Injury Association
• One day at a time
What do you want the public to know about ABI?
• Educate yourself
• Be open to assistance – lots of resources
• Don’t make judgments
• Accept people for who they are
• Be safe - don’t take risks
• Brain injury is prevalent
Themes for Success:
• Survivors have good insight
• Positive attitude
• Strong support system
• Linking with their peers and survivors
• Found volunteer opportunities – way to give back
• Artistic expressions