October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month
By Bridget Brown
I have never let the fact that I have Down Syndrome stop me from dreaming about what I want to do in my life.
I was the first person with a disability included in general education classes in my school district, and I have continued on my inclusion adventure throughout my life.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year’s theme is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.
By Bridgeway Community Employment Services
The following story originally appeared in the January 2022 edition of the RSA NCRTM Newsletter.
What is IPS?
According to IPS Employment Services:
Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a model of supported employment for people with serious mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar, depression).
IPS supported employment helps people living with behavioral health conditions work at regular jobs of their choosing. Although variations of supported employment exist, IPS refers to the evidence-based practice of supported employment. Mainstream education and technical training are included as ways to advance career paths.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month
by Terri Leyton
Seventeen and a half years ago, our world was rocked when Kelsey was born.
Everything changed when she was whisked away to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for observation. The obstetrician and NICU pediatrician came back to tell my husband and me that Kelsey had a pretty significant heart defect, and they suspected she had Down syndrome. Many questions swirled in our heads: Could her heart be repaired? Will she survive? What will our life be like raising a child with Down syndrome?
What will her life be like?
October is Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.
By Athena Hallberg
My learning disabilities and anxiety have always gone hand in hand; however, while I was diagnosed at a very young age with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and an auditory processing delay, my anxiety disorder went undiagnosed for years. My anxiety disorder was my biggest secret — the worst kept secret, but a secret all the same.
NOTE: May is Better Hearing and Speech Month
By Donia Shirley, Vice President of the National Family Association for Deaf-Blind and parent of Jaxson, a child who is deaf-blind.
When a baby is added to a family, invisible bonds often quickly form with others who have children the same age. For families who have children with complex support needs, that community can seem out of reach, especially when they have a child with a low incidence disability such as deaf-blindness.
A few days after our 6-week-old son Jaxson was transferred to our local children’s hospital, we started receiving diagnoses. We learned he was deaf-blind; he was profoundly Deaf and had colobomas (an eye condition that cannot be completely corrected). The medical team eventually informed us that Jaxson had CHARGE Syndrome.
NOTE: October is Blindness Awareness Month as well as Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.
Ella and Beth Johnson
My name is Ella, and I’m a junior at Irondale High School in Minnesota. This school year, I’m busy studying for advanced placement courses, playing percussion and coordinating audio equipment in my school’s band, and making time to read book recommendations from friends. I was diagnosed with dyslexia in fifth grade, and reading print books has always been challenging for me compared with most of my classmates. However, accessible digital books from Bookshare give me the same opportunities to learn, engage, and show what I know.
NOTE: October is National Blindness Awareness Month
In recognition of Blindness Awareness Month the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) is pleased to share experiences of students with visual impairments and their parents and teachers, highlighting how we are expanding access to reading and learning for students across the United States.
NOTE: October is Blindness Awareness Month
NIMAC Project Director, Nicole Gaines
When typical textbooks don’t meet the needs of students with reading disabilities, visual impairments, or physical disabilities, the OSEP-funded National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) helps ensure that these students can obtain the accessible formats they need to engage and contribute alongside their peers.
by Meriah Nichols
I really thought I knew disability. I thought I knew what it feels like to have a disability; I thought I knew how it is to navigate a world that often does not understand or appreciate the presence of disability. I thought I knew the feelings that a disability can bring with it: the hurt, the pain, the joy, and the delight. I really thought I knew it all.
NOTE: October is Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.
By Rachelle Johnson, a member of the Young Adult Leadership Council of the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
As a child I was diagnosed with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adults told me I was “differently abled” and to not categorize myself negatively, as in “disabled.” This introduced me to a societal view of “the disabled” and how to navigate an ableist society by distancing from the term disabled. The adults wanted this so I would not be treated in the negative ways people with disabilities often were.