Perspective from New Zealand

Short and sassy article from Kiwi author is right up this Blog’s alley.

New Zealander, Linda Kimpton wrote an article:Being disabled isn’t a disaster
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/assignments/do-new-zealanders-accept-difference/9997038/Being-disabled-isn-t-a-disaster

She shines a light on the human body’s fragility being a source of changing perspectives and improving authentic inclusion.

Her insight comes from a parental lens.
As a mother of a disabled child, she states;
People don’t seem to realise that they or their loved ones are only ever an accident or a twist of fate away from joining the “disabled community.”

The mere act of aging shifts people from the artificial category of “abled” to “disabled”.

I think if people could get past this binary thinking, and recognise that disability is a rather natural, if not inevitable, part of the human condition, then we’d be a step closer to the disabled being treated with dignity and respect.

Binary thinking indeed!

I am moved by her candor.

Linda Kimpton serves on the Board of Education and adds;
Being on a school’s board of trustees has shown me many ways in which a school that adapts to accommodate the disabled, ends up enriching the school experience of the other students.

She introduces simple and effective alternatives toward both short and long-term attitudes, short and long-mindsets and short and long-opportunities for improving lives for the disabled and those who love them or care for them.

‘When New Zealand society advances to the point where we recognise disability as just part of the spectrum of humanity, and that there is nothing perverse or backwards in finding the beauty, talents and joy in the lives of the disabled, then we will all be better off for it.’

“Being disabled isn’t a disaster”- so true.

Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, oil spills, wars, animal welfare abuses, these are disasters.

The need for a change toward disability – a shift from dualistic thinking adds positive potential for All.

That’s how we like to roll here at Living Life to the Best of Your Possibility-

Thanks, Linda Kimpton for widening our lens down to New Zealand!

Handicapped Heat Up Headlines

Dead air time, white noise and white space be damned!

The disabled sizzled the week with three newsworthy handicapped headlines aka: unprecedented exposure.

1. Via Facebook, a shared news story headline:

Oh, yes they did…… read all about the dirty mess on a Georgian museum’s reputation by clicking the provided link below.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2358899/Disabled-girl-denied-access-museum-wheelchair-carpets-dirty.html

2. The Colbert Report, with host Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central station on basic cable, interviewed author, Andrew Solomon for the release of his new book, Far From the Tree

The book highlights parents’ journeys of exceptional children ranging from severe disabilities to prodigies.

While Mr. Solomon used the word ‘exceptional’ to describe the children, Mr. Colbert used the word ‘special.’

**I recommended on The Colbert Report Official Website to use three words; members of humanity.

You can watch the episode by using the link below;
http://www.colbertnation.com/video/disabled

You can read about Andrew Solomon’s, Far From the Tree, by using this link;
http://www.farfromthetree.com/

3. HBO Documentary, Miss You Can Do It, premiered on June, 24th. I recorded the premiere channel listing. July 13th, my sister and I boosted by the progressive determination of the Miss You Can Do It annual beauty pageant for girls and young women with disabilities.

The pageant founder, Abbey Curren, became the first woman with a disability to win Miss Iowa 2008 in the Miss America Beauty Pageant™.

She organizes this event, unsponsored. Abbey Curren endorses positivity over disability for both the girls and their parents.

The Director, Ron Davis, captures the contestants’ inner-beauty, inner-conflict. His film reaches into parents’ joys and sorrows, all hoping for a constructive societal shifts in perspective toward people living with disabilities.

These three ‘Handicapped Headliners’ unveiled my dream, my vision, my mission establishing the disabled onto the world stage as authentically equal members of humankind:

“All Inclusive, All the Time, No Disability Left Behind”

The media left the disabled behind unless a sensational story developed. Sensational stories fade.

Memorable moments shine far and wide.

Prior to the hot headlines my dream scope spanned in milliseconds.

Prior to last week, my DVR saves three personally significant shining millisecond moments.

1. Master Chef Finale; 2012 – Winner Christine Ha crowned first blind Master Chef.

2. Master Chef Episode 9 – Pressure Test 3; Co-competitor Josh Marks cups and guides the hands of blind home cook, Christine Ha during a visual presentation on ‘how to make homemade tortellini.’

**I wrote Fox thanking executive staff for not cutting the episodic millisecond.

3. 2012 London Summer Olympic Opening Ceremony; Promoted a deaf percussionist, a deaf and hard of hearing children’s choir making certain to include the wheelchair-bound singers in the shot and focusing on a wheelchair-bound dancer performing on stage beside fellow dancers. I wept into my sister’s arms after watching that millisecond.

**I wrote to Danny Boyle thanking him for his all-encompassing visionary production.

My gloriously short, sweet dream realized, now expands!

I recharge, ravenous for enriched shining moments.

Do you have any dreams realized? Any awaiting realization?

Feel free to share!

Warmly,
Victoria Kaloss
Living Life to the Best of Your Disability
‘All Inclusive, All the Time
No Disability Left Behind’

**No replies to date.

The Greater Cost

During my school days, there were no Special Education Services. The only adaptations agreed upon between my parents, physicians and school principals, were exclusion from gym where I applied my time as an assistant to the school nurses and allowing two-minute early dismissals to beat my exuberant peers running, thrashing through the stairwells, sidewalks between classes and at end-of-school day bell.

My parents had no true support system spotlighting juvenile/rheumatoid arthritis or any other disability; at least not to my recollection. They relied upon each other, my siblings educators and physicians. My parents worked with what they had, and did their best to mold the environment to meet my needs.

There were no support groups for the handful of us disabled students either. Although, there was and exists today a compelling covert comradeship, an underground secret society led by understanding and empathy.

Special Education entered my life further down my path. After attaining my Master’s Degree in Social Work, I worked as a School Social Worker. I enjoyed my work, my students and contributed to advocacy and support for parents and students whenever possible.

The Internet was a fledgling when I left the workforce.

Today, where would we be without the instant connections waiting for the one mouse-click, a touchpad fingerprint forged, created and nurtured without the World Wide Web?

I happened upon an article written by Ellen Siedman. She is a mother to Max, a special needs wonder-boy who refuses to give up. Her article “Are Kids With Special Needs Really a Burden to Society?” caught my eye as there has been an undercurrent over the past five years concerning the ‘cost-effectiveness’ of educating special needs children.

I emailed Ellen asking for permission to re-post her article. She responded within hours. Where would we be without the Internet?
Ellen has been kind enough to share her words and her links.

Are Kids With Special Needs Really a Burden to Society? Posted: 06/08/2012 10:26 am

I recently got into a conversation with an acquaintance about the cost of caring for kids with special needs. This is a smart, savvy woman who has a son with mild Aspergers, and who knows that I have a child with more significant special needs. I mentioned a study that found treating people with autism in the United States cost $126 billion last year.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-seidman/are-kids-with-special-needs-really-burden-to-society_b_1574351.html?ref=parents

Ellen Seidman Blogger, Love That Max – http://www.lovethatmax.com

Thank you, Ellen and Max for their openness and generosity.

I encourage you to read Ellen’s article and Blog and then ask yourself,

‘What is the cost of not educating any child?’

Thank you for your support!

http://www.livinglifetothebestofyourdisbility.com
All Inclusive, All the Time
No Disability Left Behind