Friday, 30 October 2015

Weekend reading and viewing: 31st October - 1st November 2015


Kari Wagner-Peck, Huffington Post (blog), 29th October 2015
In 1984, Reagan inaugurated October as National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. His proclamation would encapsulate a failing in Down syndrome advocacy for the next 30 years:
"In the past decade, the United States has entered a new era of hope for its developmentally disabled citizens", Reagan intoned, "This new age of enlightened understanding recognizes that developmentally disabled persons have a great potential for achieving and overcoming handicaps. And, then, this: "Research has uncovered the genetic basis for the condition and points the way to its ultimate prevention."
It was a mixed message. We accept you and we would hope to prevent you. It was, after all, a proclamation not human rights legislation ...

On the Eve of 21
Lisa Bridle (guest blog), Mumma Love, 29th October 2015
My beautiful, amazing son turns 21 in a few short months.This impending milestone has me thinking I really must put my mind to booking a venue worthy of such an auspicious celebration. It has also had me recalling those scary early hours and days when Down syndrome seemed like such ‘bad news’. Over the years, I have often pondered all the things I would like to tell that sad and terrified young (well younger!) mother that I was back then, to comfort and reassure her, as well as help her navigate what was to come. How I would like to be able to reach out to her to break the spell of gloom and confusion and convince her that not only will she be completely besotted by this unexpected baby but she will also greatly value the rich adventure she is about to live – and all she will learn through it ...

Down Syndrome awareness month highlights need for understanding
Sage Swinton, Cessnock Advertiser, 23rd October 2015 
October is Down Syndrome awareness month, celebrating people with Down Syndrome for their abilities, not their disabilities.

Some local families who have been touched by Down Syndrome decided this was a great chance to raise awareness about the condition and the stigma surrounding it ...


My Special-Needs Son Hates Halloween
David Perry, Pacific Standard, 28th October 2015
The costumes are itchy, the candy bores him, and we keep asking him to be someone he’s not ...

... Holidays can be exhausting for people with disabilities—and for their families and caregivers. In most societies, holidays function to create shared social experiences. This can be a socially constructive arrangement, building bonds among members of communities, but establishing norms always puts pressure on people who cannot (or will not) conform ...



Down Syndrome: A letter to a mama who just found out…
Cassie Weber, Up Parenting Creek, 26th October 2015
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I hardly knew a thing about Down Syndrome before my daughter came along. I’m sure many people who receive this diagnosis for their child don’t know much about it either ...

My Son Who Has Down Syndrome Tells Me Something That Changes Everything
Kari Wagner-Peck, Huffington Post, 24th October 2015
... "Listen, as long as we are talking about this--how are you feeling about your Down syndrome?" ...

The Answer
Dave Hingsburger, Rolling Around In My Head, 28th October 2015
... I got to sit there and listen, really listen, to them think, and reason, and figure, and joke and laugh and think again and reason again. A group of people who others think can't think and can't reason are doing just that, their words swirling around the room, their ideas slowly unwrapping the question to find the answer.

Then a woman at the back called out the answer. The room erupted. I didn't even have to say that she got it right ...


Time for a Special Minister for Disability
Peter Gibilisco, Pro Bono News, 6th October 2015
Disability support and policy is currently undergoing much needed and crucial reform. There is a lot of taxpayer money being spent on seeking to get things right.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a wide sweeping reform that will try its utmost to significantly improve the lifestyles of people with disability however severe or profound they may be. And there is a need for significant government financial support for people with disability. Which leads me to ask: should a special ministerial portfolio be created for people with disability? ...



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