#004: Living a Life of Relationship with Janet Klees

#004: Living a Life of Relationship with Janet Klees

004, Blog, Podcast
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. Show Notes: 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.  Tweetable Quotes: “Life happens best…
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#003: Clienthood versus Citizenship with Guy Caruso

#003: Clienthood versus Citizenship with Guy Caruso

003, Blog, Podcast
On this episode of Good Things in Life, Genia interviews Guy Caruso about why choosing a path of citizenship instead of clienthood leads toward a good life. Guy has a Ph.D. in rehabilitation counseling, is a fellow of the American Association of Developmental Disabilities and works at the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University. Show Notes: No path in life is easy. But if you had to think about your choices, would you rather your child be a client or citizen? When families seek out citizenship for their children, their futures are bright. When you are citizen you are more likely to be known in your community. The more you’re known and valued, the safer you are. Separation from others can lead to a lack of safety. When children are labeled as…
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#002 Transcript: Creating a Vision – What is it and why does it matter?

#002 Transcript: Creating a Vision – What is it and why does it matter?

002, Blog
The podcast episode and show notes are available here. If you would like some help developing a vision for your child, you can download a help sheet here. Transcript: Voiceover intro: 00:02 I quickly figured out from the responses of many people to our daughter, my daughter was going to be subjected to some pretty low expectations which could lead to some real limitations in her life. And it was at that point that I realized how important it was to have a really big vision. Genia: 00:26 Welcome to the good things in life podcast. My name is Genia Stephen. You were just listening to Darcy Elks. Darcy is an educator, a consultant, an evaluator of services, and an advocate on behalf of people with disabilities. Darcy is also…
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#002: Creating a Vision – What is it and why does it matter?

#002: Creating a Vision – What is it and why does it matter?

002, Blog, Podcast
On this episode of Good Things in Life, Genia interviews Darcy Elks an educator, consultant, evaluator of services and an advocate for people with disabilities about vision and why it matters so much. Download your guide to creating a vision. A transcript of this episode can be found here. Show Notes: Darcy first started thinking about vision after the birth of her first daughter who has a disability. People started communicating really low expectations for her daughter. She became intentional about developing a vision for their daughter. What is a vision? A vision is a process of thinking clearly about what it is you want for your life. Vision is like... Vision is like the North Star , it gives us the destination and helps us gauge our direction. Vision…
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#001: Welcome to the first episode of the Good Things in Life Podcast!

#001: Welcome to the first episode of the Good Things in Life Podcast!

001, Blog, Podcast
Welcome to our first podcast. This show is all about helping young people with a disability to build a good life. We all want the good things in life. Regardless of time or place, there is pretty universal agreement about what the good things in life are. Home, relationships, love, community, some freedom, opportunities to make a contribution… But at some point in human history we lost the plot in respect to what we think is important for people with disabilities and their families. We definitely lost the plot all together when it comes to figuring out how to support people. I was lucky. Early in my life I was introduced to important concepts like Social Role Valorizaiton or SRV. SRV is a concept developed by Dr. Wolf Wolfensburger PhD.…
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Planning Halloween costumes is harder than it looks!

Planning Halloween costumes is harder than it looks!

Blog, Commentary
Are there any parents out there who are scrambling to figure out their kid's Halloween costume? 😬 Am I alone in this? Probably... It's okay. I'm pretty sure most of the time that I am the only parent messing it up on the daily. But if you are still figuring it out a day before Halloween then know that you are not alone. I'm with you. This year my son is dressing up as The Flash. [embed]https://media.giphy.com/media/4hRy0u1cgIYMg/giphy.mp4[/embed]   We are attaching cardboard lightning bolts to the wheels of his chair and we found a too small, off-the-rack costume for him. Like I said. Not our most prepared this year. While searching for cool costume ideas for kids that use wheelchairs we came across a bunch of really cool ideas. Like…
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Getting a diagnosis: Confessions about my Quasimodo moment

Getting a diagnosis: Confessions about my Quasimodo moment

Blog
My sister has a disability and so I started young in the disability movement. And I was passionate and clear that our society devalues people with disabilities and that this causes more problems than disability itself. I was fierce. I had no fear. I was quick to call bull when I saw it. When I was 13 years old I was banned from my sister's elementary school because "I threatened the teacher's professionalism" by questioning how they treated her. I was hauled into the principal's office for calling out a teacher who had low expectations of what one of my friends was capable of. I organized and spoke at conferences. And when my son was born and he didn't breathe and needed live saving treatment I was (relatively) calm. They…
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“Anything but sorry.” Canadian Down Syndrome Society’s new vid

“Anything but sorry.” Canadian Down Syndrome Society’s new vid

Blog, Commentary
Most of the material I see on Facebook about disability rubs me the wrong way. Even the super positive stuff I often find still misses some subtle and important point or feeds into negative stereotypes or roles of charity/pity. But this "Anything but sorry" video by the Canadian Down Syndrome Society is pretty good. It isn't a complicated message. And it is self-evident once communicated. Yet, it doesn't seem to be wisdom commonly held in our society. [embed]https://youtu.be/AfLfqC2sXOE[/embed] When my son was born he was critically ill. We weren't sure he would live. We ended up in a Children's Hospital far from our home. I was worried and frightened. My family was worried and frightened. Our head space was all stress. On his third day of life we received a large…
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I won’t spend time to spread the word to end the word – The R word that is

I won’t spend time to spread the word to end the word – The R word that is

Blog, Commentary
I won't do it. I won't dedicate time to "spread the word to end the word". The "R" word. I will point out to people who use the words retard or retarded as an insult or derogatory term that this is hate speech and ask them not to do it again. Most people tell me that's not what they meant. But it is. It is no different that racial slurs or saying, "that's so gay." I agree with this critique of how the word retarded is used in common speech. It is awful and hateful and people should absolutely have the courage to call people on their hate speech. But I think that the broader effort of the campaign to end the use of the word retarded is, well...a bit…
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