Saturday, December 24, 2011

L'Arche Christmas Pageant: Led By A Star

L'Arche is a community where those with developmental disabilities and those who choose to share life with them, live, work, play and pray together. This pageant was put on by L'Arche Cape Breton.

via its site:

L'Arche Cape Breton was founded in 1983 when Tom and Anne Gunn invited Janet Moore to come and live with their family. Today we are a community of approximately 50 people and in 2011 we will be celebrating our 28th year as a L'Arche Community.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Giving Back

via YouTube:

Inskip Elementary School Principal Elisa Luna talks about raising money for the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center and her own personal physical recovery after being paralyzed after being shot last year by a disgruntled teacher.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sharing about dwarfism...and interdependence

Haley and Emily talk about being friends after they met in kindergarten and lessons they've learned about interdependence.

Monday, December 19, 2011

In the Land of the Incontinent, a poem

In the Land of the Incontinent
There are many islands
Surrounded by the Ocean of Shame
Each has its own flag
Mine - a sabre in equipoise over a leg bag
Ready to cut off a strap or a connector,
Slice through the whole damn bag
Strewing the contents asunder
Wildly proclaiming the freedom to freely piss
Just once.

There are many solitary boats in the Ocean of Shame
No ocean liners at all
Small sailboat masts wave and wink,
Rowboats rock and collide with each other creating
A momentary, instant camaraderie expressed with shouts of
"You're in, you're in!"
But each sailor steadies his own course
No one has thought to start a boat club
Or regatta races
There is no winner's cup
No banquet

Everyone hurries home to her own island
As darkness falls
Lowering the flag then
Tripping and rolling over
Boxes of catheters and diapers
We all have our own treasure and bounty of
Devices that stick on us and in us
Bags that bind us or hang off us
(Generally defeating the purpose
Of their names like Freedom
Some continent marketing genius
Came up with).

I want to water flowers, draw a new yellow brick road,
But instead struggle with valves not meant for those
With limited dexterity
And wind up spraying my socks
In the quiet of a bathroom over a toilet I no longer apparently need
But am not allowed to sell
To pay for all this paraphernalia

My island is open to anyone
If you happen to sail by
Bring your own supplies
For I often run low
But I promise you will not go home hungry
Or feeling quite so alone
As you set out on the Ocean of Shame
Which I hope some day enough of us will rename
By flying our flags high.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Quadriplegic Playing Virtual Violin

Before acquiring quadriplegia, I played classical guitar. It's probably the number one thing I miss doing. So I was fascinated when I saw this video. What a wonderful thing to be able to do again!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Statement by the National Council on Disability on the 19th Observance of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Council on Disability today released the following statement on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3, 2011:

NCD observes the 19th International Day of Disabled Persons, first recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992. The theme of this year’s observance is “Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development.”

Why is meaningful involvement by persons with disabilities in international development important? The United States invests billions of taxpayer dollars into foreign assistance programs that foster international diplomacy and development annually, aimed at improving the quality of life for people around the world. These programs develop economies, promote democracy and governance, provide humanitarian assistance, build new infrastructure, and advance and protect human rights. Given that 15 percent of the world population is made up of people with disabilities, and growing, the United States cannot effectively accomplish the goals of foreign assistance programs unless it ensures programs are accessible to and inclusive of people with disabilities.

Conservative estimates by the World Health Organization suggest more than one billion people, an estimated 15 percent of the world’s population, have a disability. 80 percent of these individuals live in developing nations. Although people with disabilities make up a large segment of the global population, they continue to face worldwide discrimination and segregation at alarming levels. Moreover, numbers are likely gravely underestimated because people with disabilities are typically shunned, hidden from public view by their families, and commonly excluded from community activities.

Exclusion from the built environment prevents use of necessary services and resources that non-disabled populations take for granted. These barriers have a negative, spiraling effect. Physical barriers also keep people with disabilities from using voting centers, polling places, courthouses, administrative agencies, schools, and embassies.

Those who aren’t hidden by families or communities of origin are often left to languish in institutions – further removing them from civic and social engagement. Conflict and poverty continue to increase the incidence rates of disability in less developed and industrialized economies alike. Already significant numbers are rising due to a variety of factors including aging, poverty, armed conflict, as well as improved data collection.

Overseas economic development will not be successful unless people with disabilities are included. If development is not inclusive, the significant numbers of people with disabilities in developing countries will hinder the very economic growth the U.S. seeks to facilitate. NCD recommends both micro-level solutions to spark income generation in coordination with large scale interventions to create the kinds of legal and regulatory structures to better serve and benefit from the contributions of people with disabilities.

As the world observes the 19th International Day of Persons with Disabilities, NCD welcomes the opportunity to focus greater attention to workable solutions to concerns faced by people with disabilities, their families and the diverse communities people live in around the globe.

About NCD: Founded in 1978, the National Council on Disability is a small, independent federal agency comprised of 15 Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed Council Members and a small staff, who advise the President, Congress and other Federal agencies on disability policy, programs and services.

More information on NCD's website at: