Megan Bomgaars, a young woman with Down syndrome, speaks to teachers about best practices for teaching an individual with disabilities. She has an incredible ability to capture in words exactly what teachers need to do or not do to help children with disabilites achieve their full potential. Please watch this video and send it along to those who might benefit from the information!
I just recently watched a documentary, "Shorty" about a man in his 50's with Down syndrome named Walter Simms. He worked at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, primarily with the football team. This film follows an incredible legacy that he created at Hampden-Sydney and how his presence affected students, faculty/staff, and friends of Hampden-Sydney. I recommend checking it out. It is available on Netflix through the disc rental.
I just stumbled upon this young man's blog and it is impressive and entertaining! Daniel Drinker is a twenty-something with Down syndrome and his brother, Will has been recording his adventures both on the blog and on video. I have watched a few of the video clips and for me, the relationship between Will and his brother is the special part about this blog/future documentary. Daniel is a clever young man and I am sure you will enjoy his website. A documentary about Dan has just been finished and I wrote them to find out how/where it will be accessible in the future so I will post this information when I receive it! For now, enjoy www.dandrinker.com
I recently came across an article about a young woman with Down syndrome who attends USC and is a teacher's assistant in a Kindermusik classroom. This young lady is impressive for many reasons, but her speech is what stood out to me. She has exceptional speaking abilities and is very articulate about her goals and abilities. It is obvious that she has worked very hard to arrive where she is and it gives me a lot of hope and motivation for my own son. Here is the article (with a video):
This article was just posted on Disability Scoop. It is wonderful to see a push for more facilities to accomodate adults with disabilities who would like to live independently. I am looking forward to seeing what changes will come to Southern Maryland in terms of independent living communities! I would be interested to know what areas (in Maryland or the U.S. as a whole) you have found to most progressive in terms of independent living posssibilies.
The HBO documentary MONICA AND DAVID was available on Youtube, but was taken off, however, it is available on Netflix. This documentary follows a couple who both have Down syndrome and are getting married and navigating through the different considerations for independent living as adults with an intellectual disability. Be sure to check it out!
I also came across two other documentaries on Youtube about a young boy named Peter who has Down syndrome who was part of the first group to be fully included in a regular education classroom. The two documentaries are Educating Peter and Graduating Peter and they are both available on Youtube. Here is the link to the first part of Educating Peter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBv0AedUNI8&feature=related and this is the link to the first part of Graduating Peter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6AwCVg_3fE&feature=related.
Enjoy and be sure to post your thoughts after watching.
Even though SOU is continuing to uphold their unsupported decision to exclude Eliza Schaaf from the ceramics class in which she was enrolled, there has been good news about higher education for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The article below was posted yesterday and covers the story of Ben Majewski who is in his first semester at Massachusetts Bay Community College. He has been welcomed by the school community and this college is one of many creating programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities who would like to pursue higher education. Be sure to check out Ben's story as well as watching Eliza's story, which may be the beginning of a major change in the way colleges look at both potential and current students with intellectual disabilities.
There is a young woman, Eliza Schaaf, who enrolled in a ceramics class at Southern Oregon University and received a letter after attending two-thirds of the sessions saying that she was not longer able to participate. The letter stated that she was a distraction and did not meet the academic qualifications of the University. However, Eliza was auditing the class and every student in the class signed a petition asking for her reinstatement citing that she brought a lot to the class and was not a distraction/disruption.
Over the weekend, Eliza received another letter from the Dean of Students at SOU upholding the decision.
This situation has created quite a stir and rightfully so......it will be interesting to see how this might affect policies at other universities and the growth of programs for individuals with disabilities.
Here are some links to the news stories as well as Eliza's website that documents her reasons for joining the class and the support that she has received from the student body and community:
Let me know what you think and if you know of any programs at the local universities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.