Monday, 28 April 2008
Friday, 25 April 2008
We hope they make you smile too. Wouldn't you love to know what prompted them?
Thursday, 24 April 2008
Dave Hingsburger, over on Chewing the Fat is starting an online book club Have a look at his blog entry for 21st April to see how it will work .
The first book chosen is Mary Doria Russell's A Thread of Grace, which Dave's blog can tell you more about, and why it might be of interest to us. It is available in bookshops in Sydney such as Dymocks, Angus and Robertsons and Borders, although two of our frequent library users report that it is not in their large local libraries.
We have also received this week two copies of Jennifer Graf Groneberg's new book Roadmap to Holland - see Jennifer's blog Pinwheels.
A local new release is Ari Galper's book, Lessons from Toby - 52 Life Lessons. You can read more about it and order it from Ari's website.
Annotated lists of our complete library collection of 1800 items can be viewed here.
Monday, 14 April 2008
March just wasn't long enough to accommodate all of the T4321 events that people wanted to hold to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day/Month 2008 (more than 50 were registered), so we spilled over into April as well ......
Sunday, 13 April 2008
In October 2004, Lynn Johnston introduced a new character, Shannon Lake, a teenage girl with an intellectual disability into her cast. Shannon was developed with the help of her niece, Stephanie who has special needs. Together they are a powerful advocacy team in their own community and to the wider world. Spend some time looking through Shannon's own website for a wealth of material, and for the strips in which Shannon has featured.
These two strips from 2004 introduced Shannon in 2004
There's some real food for thought in these comic strips, and the background material that could make very effective teaching and learning resources and ideas, about developing a sense of self, self esteem, and dealing with teasing and bullying. And perhaps all the better for not being in a textbook!
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Families of children needing extremely high levels of support, because of complex and multiple disabilities spoke about the drastic actions they have been forced to take when the disability service "system" has been unable to support them to raise the child at home.
Most families with sons and daughters who have Down syndrome do find the supports and services they need, and are able to develop skills and resilience sufficient to meet the child's needs relatively comfortably within their own families. But some children and adults with Down syndrome do have more complex needs, and can have multiple disabilities and/or health complications that push their families' limits of endurance beyond reason, similarly to those families' whose stories have been told in the Inquiry.
The NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care policy is that all children under 12 should be raised in a family setting, but it apparently still has no workable solution in place for situations when that is not possible. One family's story has been highlighted in the media, and was accepted by the Inquiry as a case study.
A parent-observer at the inquiry on Friday reports that " ....senior DADHC officers said there were a number of models of accommodation and yet could not name any other than saying every effort was made for children under 12 for the child to remain in the family home with in-home support. When pressed by the Commissioner and his assistant as to what was the alternative if it was impossible or inappropriate for the child with disability to remain in the family home, or with a foster family, the DADHC officers really had no satisfactory answer"
Media reports on the Inquiry's disability hearings:
How policy forced a family to desert their child (SMH 10/11/08)
Disabled Kids not getting proper care (SMH 11/04/08)Lack of services for disabled children tearing families apart (SMH 11/04/08)
Parents 'forced to abandon disabled children' (ABC News, 11/04/08)
Two heart-felt letters to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, from family members responding to the reports are published under the heading The ability to care depends on support, in today's edition.
A transcript of the hearings on disability (11/4/08) will be available on the website of the Commission of Inquiry's website by Monday 14/04/2008 or Tuesday 15/4/08
The Department of Community Services submission on Health and Disability is linked under 10/04/2008, the NSW Ombudsman Report 2004 - DADHC - The need to improve services for Children, Young People and their Families (which is critical of DADHC's inability to deliver the services its policy requires) is posted under 7th April 2008 on the same page.
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Melissa's story has also been told by National Geographic Kids, and through her own web page, Melissa
Like many around the world, our thoughts are with her family.
Monday, 7 April 2008
Local Eyes is an exhibition of photographs with a difference, created by United Way Sydney. "It's a chance for ... budding photographers to present their unique perspective of Sydney, and for United way supporters to better understandhow others who face significant challenges see their world." Click on "View and Vote" to see thumbnails of all of the photos - at the lower right is Persia Burrows' photo of herself and her brother Tyler, who has Down syndrome. Click on the thumbnail for a enlargement, and the story of how the photo came about. You can vote for it too.
Daniela Mousa's Year 12 artwork confronting attitudes to people with disability will be on exhibition from 4 - 24 April in the Art Expressed show at Ku-ring-gai Arts Centre in Sydney's north. She has incorporated images of Angela, who has Down syndrome into an installation questioning judgements and behaviour. Click here for an article and photograph from the Northside Courier.
Some other interesting visual arts links:
- Down Syndrome NSW web page on visual arts
- Accessible Arts is the place to keep up with arts and disability news in NSW
- Gallery ARTES showcasing the work of artists with disabilities, is a project of Studio ARTES Northside Inc. - a community-based, not-for-profit organisation in Hornsby (NSW)
- Creative Growth is the Californian art studio that fostered the acclaimed work of the late Judith Scott
Dragon, DGC, Studio ARTES 2006
Sunday, 6 April 2008
From discussions during the day, parents of primary school aged children decided to organise a friendship club, with the children meeting on a monthly basis. - a good outcome from a good day.
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Tracy's energy, caring for her family including two beautiful and lively little girls, working, and taking on the organisation of a number of events each year (a T4321 morning tea, the Black Tie Dinner and the Illawarra Buddy Walk fior a start!) is phenomenal, and very much appreciated. Final fundraising figures are not yet in, but around $10,000 is expected from the dinner - again, very much appreciated.
As always, the less tangible outcomes of the night will be absolutely priceless!