In the 4th episode, Genia Stephen welcomes Janet Klees, Author and Executive Director of the Durham Association for Family Resources and Support in Ontario, Canada.
Janet shares what’s driven her to become an advocate for people with disabilities. Her work focuses on giving typical choices to people with disabilities.
Introduction of Janet Klees
- Janet discusses her past experiences that shaped who she is today. People often get stuck seeing the people’s limitations first, instead of the person’s capabilities and contributions.
- Relationships are an important part of life and helping kids develop relationships should be a priority.
- It’s important to give kids autonomy, also allowing them to make choices at a young age.
- Janet’s organization runs support groups based on principles of hope and direction.
“Life happens best in typical ways, in ordinary community.” –Janet.
“We’re not looking at special places for special people. We are really looking at ordinary places where the rest of the people go to watch the ball game or the rest of the community goes for Yoga classes or goes to school, for example.” – Janet.
“So the principles bring us back to a piece that we feel is strong and good and gives us hope in a direction forward.” – Janet.
“When people are seen as special and put in a special place, what do we get? What we get? We get loneliness, isolation. We get a real standing still. One of the things as human beings and most powerful learning methods is the power of imitation, and we imitate those around us.” – Janet.
Started young with a sister with a disability, amazing mentors and a strong mother with a vision. Now a mother to two sons, one of whom has a disability, a midwife to many, and an activist with a mission to band together with families to joyfully pursue the good things in life. Genia’s a registered midwife, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care (student), Speaker, Presenter, Podcast host, and founder of Good Things in Life which offers resources, courses and networking opportunities for a community of parents with a shared vision of the good things in life for their children with disabilities.