Monday, November 14, 2005

Disability Rights

As a parent and advocate, I started drawing cartoons to express the issues that families and people with disabilities must face. The frustrations are created not so much by the disability, as they are by outside forces, such as false sterotypes, misperceptions, inaccessible environments and fragmented systems and supports.

Others related to these cartoons and many asked for them to be available on a variety of prooducts such as t-shirts, mugs, cards etc., to help promote a positive image of people with disabilities and to battle the barriers that many face. That's what led me to creating "The Parent Side"(tm) on-line store. It is a campaign for inclusion and against exclusion! Visit the store at . As families battle to get their children with disabilities inclusive education, many face the same struggles again and again. I try to capture the reality with a dash of humor and a bit of attitude to shake things up. If you ever heard of the phrase, "if you keep doing what you are doing, you'll keep getting what you are getting". Well, that certainly applies in this situation and there needs to be a united effort to create positive change. This isn't just a disability issue, what affects one person really affects affects everyone in our communities. One out of five Americans has a disability and one out of ten children. Almost everyone knows and cares about a person who has a disability. It's time that we value everyone and provide equal access and opportunities to all citizens!

I also run an unfunded all-volunteer non-profit 501(c)3 called Kids Together, Inc., the mission is to promote inclusive communities where all people belong. On this website I post information about inclusive education, inclusion in the community, vision building, early intervention, people first language, IEP, IDEA, assistive technology, vision building and just about anything that affects people with disabilities. The bottom line it promotes inclusion and appropriate support for overall quality of life.