October is Down Syndrome Awareness month. Over the years, I have had the pleasure to work with many individuals with Down Syndrome and I have learned so much from them. Among the most important things is the fact that they are more like us than not. One young lady, Rachel, has found a special place in my heart. She and her mother are advocates of inclusion for individuals with Down Syndrome. Check out this video that Rachel was in:
Also, be sure to check out Rachel’s mom’s blog, The Sassy Southern Gal.
Thanks for reading!
October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. Perhaps your life has been touched in some way by a learning disability. If so, there are some amazing resources for you, whether a parent, a student, or educator. LD Online is one of them, which provides guides for educators and parents. One I would like to highlight is an article outlining very useful information for parents of students with learning disabilities and how to help them experience success. It is based on longitudinal research and identifies 6 success attributes that really make a difference and are more important than IQ and grades: Continue reading
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching competitors at the Special Olympics state competitions. Despite the horrendous heat, the competitors gave it their all!
The event was paddle boarding and it requires a lot of strength and stamina. A good time was had by athletes and spectators alike. The highlight of the day for me, though, was getting to see this precious young lady compete. She has been dear to my heart since I met her in 2nd grade and she became best friends with my daughter.
Here are some pics of her paddling her heart out
By the way….thank you, Tropical Storm Erika, for slowing down so these awesome athletes could experience some victories and make memories! This little lady ended the day with a gold medal!! We were so proud! And look at that smile!
If you would like to learn more about how you and/or your child can become involved, check out Special Olympics for yourself.
Thanks for reading!
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. This is a victory for many individuals with disabilities. My friend and her daughter who has Down Syndrome, have been instrumental in advocating for the passing of this Act over an 8-year long crusade. You can learn more about their journey on her blog, The Sassy Southern Gal.
Individuals with disabilities dream about the future just as anyone does, but current law allows individuals with disabilities to only have $2,000 or less in order to receive government supports such as Medicaid and Social Security Income. This discourages individuals with disabilities to become self-determined, to dream, and to plan for the future. However, the ABLE Act now allows for individuals with disabilities to set up state-based private savings accounts, which are tax-free, to pay for disability-related expenses. Being able to save for the costs of resources such as education; health costs; employment support; transportation; and housing without losing government support means that individuals with disabilities can experience more independence and a better quality of life. You can learn more about the ABLE Act at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr647 . It is anticipated that the President will sign this Act in January, 2015.
Join with me in celebrating another milestone for individuals with disabilities! Thank the Congressmen, Senators, and individuals who have made this a reality!