Tuesday, March 27, 2007

So, here I am

I don't claim to be an expert in politics.

I don't claim to be an expert in all aspects of disability. I don't even know for sure which of these blogging templates will be most web accessible for people using screen readers, magnification, or other adaptions. Suggestions are welcome.

I work with people with so-called cognitive disabilities. I've have watched, over and over, how each person's learning process differs from what I'm supposed to think is "the norm." For lack of funding, effort, understanding, time, or whatever reason, I see so many gifted people with disabilities sitting at home without community contacts or meaningful employment. (My idea of meaningful employment is something that is fulfilling to the individual -- not what society thinks of as a "real job"). I see people slip through the cracks all the time because of inefficient supports.

I am also a person with a disability. I am 31 and have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 16. Recently, this has been complicated by a diagnosis of narcolepsy.

I have a blog elsewhere on the web where I vent, scream, rage, etc., but that is fairly anonymous and more personal, and really boring. I intend this to be a spot for more detailed discussion about ability/disability politics and why I so often find myself banging my head against a wall.

Also, right now I am working on reading and writing with an 18 year old who is mostly non-verbal. I've wanted to do this for a long time, and with her mom's permission, I'll try to blog how things are going, what programs we're using, etc.

So, hello world, here I am, trying to make my own small dent in this ridiculous world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Lesley. Hi All. I am the mom of the 18 y.o. special young lady Lesley has started tutoring. My name is Sue and my daughter looves you to death L.

In just the past 8 weeks you have taught her more than the last year she attended public school.

I am looking forward to all the wonderful and amazing things you and Jessie discover about each other in the wonderful world of learning.

For any parents out there, let me encourage you.........Never give up on your child and their potential to learn. Jessie wants to learn to read and write more than anything else in this world. And don't we know, this is the fundamentals to all education. The schools told me should would never be able to read or write. "Excue me, I beg to differ."

Public schools used to ask me "What would you like to see your child do in the future?" I told them, "Let's teach her how to read and write and let her decide that." Of course, I got the looks. (She's in denial.... Is she mad?....) Yea! I am mad (not looney, just angry.) Federal law makers stated years ago, these special ed students do not succeed because they are not "expected" to. Let's raise the bar on expectations.

Next year, when Jessie is 19, if she hasn't mastered reading and writing yet, guess what we will be working on?? That's right! Reading and writing. Of course, I also have high expectations for Lesley as well (no pressure L.) She just one day may be another "Miracle Worker."