This weekend I started my first session of Partners In Policymaking and I am so excited for the information, tools, resources, and classmates that I will get to know over the next several months to help me better a better advocate for change.
This first session was an overview on the history of disability, the Disability Rights Movement, and Centers for Independent Living, and People First Language.
I admit to knowing very little about the Disability Rights Movement (I don't remember learning about it in school) so this was very eye-opening for me. I had no idea how much advocating and rallying people with disabilities have had to do over the years to get laws for equal access and opportunities for things that should simply be a basic right and not have had to fight for.
I learned about ADAPT and what they accomplished and what they are still accomplishing. I learned about Ed Roberts and what he did for the disability rights movement and his founding of the World Institute on Disability.
We watched a powerful film called Lives Worth Living (view the trailer at that link.)
I am really looking forward to next month's session topics of special education and inclusion. Maybe one day I will find myself on a state department of education advisory committee for special education.
I'd love it if this state had something like the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education and the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education.
Hopefully, one day in the near future, that will happen.