And the Winner Is…

The winner of Britain’s Got Talent this year is…
The Lost Voice Guy!

He is very funny, but his message is serious (which makes for brilliant comedy.). As he says, “I was disabled before I was popular.” Furthermore, “People were laughing at me even before I became a comedian.”

One fan on YouTube has compiled this vignette of his journey:

We’ll let him tell of the rest of his journey!


Looking for Lodging? Accessibility Matters


Assistive technology is about accessibility. Recently, this idea was taken a step further. AirBnB announced a set of 24 filters enabling travelers with a physical disability to more easily find lodging accessible for their needs (e.g., if they use a wheelchair to get around). This feature saves these travelers the burden of having to call multiple places to inquire whether they are accessible to their needs, according to an informative blog piece that goes into detail about how to use the many features now available on the AirBnB app.

The user can obtain detailed information on the residence, as well as outdoor and common areas and whether an accessible (“handicapped”) parking spot is nearby. The accessibility filters can be set to one’s own specific disability.

With more and more people with physical disabilities enjoying travel, this new feature will be welcome news, especially to those using the AirBnB platform.

People Who Are Different Are Special… Like You

People Who Are Different Are Special… Like You

children with disabilities

Fred Rogers, Extraordinary Friends, written in 2000.

“You are special.” That’s the comforting message from Mister Rogers. And by “special,” Fred Rogers does not mean empty praise merely to inflate egos. Each of us is unique in his or her special way. With this, it is apt that Mister Rogers would introduce readers to other children who are different from them, in that they have a disability. With his characteristic empathy, understanding, and honesty, he acknowledges that these people who look or act different can make on feel uneasy. Yet, after taking the time to get to know these people, they are also much like them: they have hobbies, favorite foods, and like to be with others. In that way, Mister Rogers neither puts these extraordinary friends on a pedestal (what many in the self-advocacy community refer to as “disability porn”), nor presents them as objects of pity. Before he starts his narrative, Rogers introduces us to six children. Three have disabilities (though he does not reveal what kind), and three do not. With each of the six children, Mister Rogers simply explains what they like to do and their favorite food. Throughout, Mister Rogers gives tips on etiquette, to ensure both parties are comfortable. In acknowledging differences as well as what we share in common, we are simply being real friends.

Although the book’s positive message merits five stars, the writing is better suited to having an adult read the book aloud to the child. The message, however, is very much geared to the child, told in Fred Rogers’s own wonderful way.

It is worth recalling that Fred Rogers’s affinity for children very much extended to those with disabilities. Quite a few of these children were guests on his show. These children never forget the kindness of Mister Rogers! One of the most beautiful moments was a very special reunion when he was inducted into the hall of fame. No more needs to be said about Fred Rogers and the reason so many people continue to adore this special man.

Show Your Mettle Day

A prosthetic leg – “It’s part of whom I am.”

The Elephant In The Room

IMG_3659 My super cool Uncle Ken is also an amputee! He showed me how to embrace the amp life long before I lost my leg.

April is Limb Loss Awareness Month, and today is Show Your Mettle Day! The Amputee Coalition of America has created this day for amputees to show their mettle (strength and resilience) by showing their metal (prosthetics, assistive devices, etc…or simply their missing limbs.)

Most people who read my blog know that I have no problem showing my leg to the world or talking about my amputation.  Not everyone is as comfortable, though.  Some amputees hide their prosthetic devices or try to cover up their missing limbs because they’re afraid of what others might think.

Amputees of the world, you don’t have to hide away.  Be proud of who you are and what you’ve been through.  Whether you were born with a missing limb or had a…

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Autism Is Nothing Like Going to Holland

“Welcome to Holland” is a lovely poem, and so is Holland. While the piece offers comforting thoughts for parents of an autistic child, it is not always a realistic portrayal. A jungle is at times more accurate – wild, untamed, seemingly chaotic… but still beautiful.

Not an Autism Mom

There’s a very famous poem called “Welcome to Holland,” written by Emily Perl Kingsley.  It’s a beautiful poem, if you haven’t read it.

To summarize, Kingsley describes what it feels like to raise a child with special needs. She says that planning for a child is like planning an exciting trip to Italy. But when your child has a disability, your plane winds up in Holland instead.


Holland isn’t as flashy or exciting as Italy. But it’s pretty, slower paced, and has windmills. And even though you really wanted that trip to Italy, you appreciate Holland for all of its beauty and serenity.

I used to love that poem. I would post it on my Facebook page and tag moms I thought would appreciate the gesture. I’ve even been sent that poem from time to time by well-meaning loved ones. And I appreciated the gesture. I still do.

But the…

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We Are All Here for Cerebral Palsy


“I am here.… We are here… and we want to the world to know!” That is the message of advocacy and self-advocacy that people with cerebral palsy and those who work with them want to convey on Friday, October 6, World Cerebral Palsy Day 2017. This campaign involves six key issues:


Public awareness and putting an end to stigma and stereotype. When people know what cerebral palsy is and is not, they are more likely to know the best way to interact with those who have the condition. For example, impaired or labored speech may lead outsiders to accidentally believe the person with CP has a cognitive disability when, in fact, he or she does not. Moreover, otherwise well-intentioned people will interact with those with CP by talking in a childlike way or look upon them with pity.


Civil rights at all levels: national, state, and local. People with cerebral palsy have the right to accessibility in public buildings, transportation, and walkways. They have the right to vote and advocate for themselves and their peers. They have the right to information and jobs.


Medical and therapeutic knowledge and information. The three primary medical and therapeutic issues are addressing the cause (though, at present, this is not entirely known), early diagnosis to ensure proper care during the critical first years of life, and effective treatment that include physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cognitive interaction. Recently, physicians and researchers worldwide have pledged to work together to create clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis and early intervention of cerebral palsy.


Quality of life beyond mere survival. Beyond medical and other therapies, the overall well-being of people with cerebral palsy is of paramount concern, that is, that providing access to family and residential support services that enable them to participate in all aspects of community living with the greatest degree of independence and fulfillment possible, both in their home and the community. It also involves offering respite services to families.


Education for people with cerebral palsy and those who teach them. Children with CP have the right to a “full and appropriate public education.” Inclusion involves more than placing the student in a corner and ignoring him or her. These children deserve full interaction according to their intellectual ability, as well as well-trained educators to teach them. Education is the key to an independent and fulfilling life; with advocacy and assistive technology, college can be a possibility, not just a dream.


Making a contribution to the community and society, economically, socially, artistically, and politically. A fulfilling life is one that enables a person to contribute to society, through employment, social opportunities, artistic expression, and political involvement, including exercising the right to vote.


Cooking with Karen 01Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability and childhood birth defects. The condition affects physical movement, but people with CP may have any one or a combination of learning, intellectual, visual, or hearing disabilities. Worldwide, more than 17 million people living with CP, and some 350 million family, friends, and professionals support and care for and about them.


Before we were Advancing Opportunities, our agency was known as Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey. Although our name change reflects the fact that we serve people with all disabilities in New Jersey, cerebral palsy is still a significant part of what we do.


A Mom Assess Her Role as a Parent of an Autistic Child

Isaac loves his iPad. It is with him from the moment he wakes until the second he goes to sleep. He has a few games he likes and he really enjoys looking through the photos but his all time love is YouTube. He is pretty typical of many 8 year old boys in that sense. […]

via How My Severely Autistic Son Used YouTube To Speak To Me — faithmummy