Thursday, August 22, 2013

Amazing Possibilities

Since the day my daughter was born 38 years ago, I became an advocate- to be a voice- for persons living with disabilities.  In preschool years, through Kimberly teaching me, I taught others "another way" to bathe, dress, and feed themselves through example and perseverance.  In elementary school years, I became a New Jersey State Advocate; helping others select "the least restrictive environment" with "related services" in the public school system.  During these years I created the "Kid's Korner" column which offered services available for special needs; for D.I.A.L., Inc., (Disabled-Information-Awareness & Living); one of the first Independent Living Resource Centers in the U.S.) founded by parents and persons advocating for a high quality life, as special needs are being met with available services.  Living in the Metropolitan Area of New Jersey/N.Y.C. we had boundless opportunities to meet literally hundreds of people working with the same goal in mind- to live a life free from barriers that hold us all back- physically and socially, through cultural and financial divide.
Since those pioneer/grassroots days of establishing the most basic rights and freedoms for all persons (meeting their individual needs) we have, indeed, come a long way, baby!  That, however, brings us to today, facing the most difficult challenges of day-to-day living for everyone.
I am continuing my education- through example, as a parent in everyday life, as a nurse serving those with special needs, and as an advocate reaching out to others, through the media (published articles & radio), presentations, and speaking engagements.  I am attending budget hearings, to share my experiences, to find solutions and hope for positive alternatives to benefit all of us- as American citizens faced with these challenges, are insurmountable alone.  But together, with positive minds and actions, we can not only climb that mountain; when we get to the top, we can smile at the next one ahead.***