Disability Is Natural Books and Media

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Our Actions, Their Futures
What we do today—right this minute—can have a profound influence on someone's future.

Permission to Fail (and Succeed)
We all need to experience the "dignity of risk," and be able learn from mistakes; then we'll be able to succeed!

Power of Imagination
Let's get out of the Status-Quo-Rut and put our imaginations to work. What great changes we'll see!


Power of One

It was the Power of One doctor, One school principal, One teacher, One Scout leader, One sensei that changed our son's life. Each of us has great personal power. How will you use yours?

Presume Competence (series of three articles)



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New ways of doing things can lead to better outcomes for children and adults with disabilities. Parents, educators, and/or professionals of all types can put these strategies to work today!


​To see all of our articles, please visit the Library page.

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Problem-Solving: A Most Valuable Skill
People with disabilities (like everyone else) need to learn to solve their own problems so they can become as self-reliant as possible.

Relevant and Meaningful
Goals, activities, and other events in a person's life  need to be relevant and meaningful to her.

Safety First
We worry about the safety of people with disabilities, but we're often not recognizing important things that can ensure their safety.

Small Footprint
People with disabilities may have too many people in their lives; all the more reason we need to focus on leaving a small footprint.

Spring-Cleaning Ourselves
Let's sweep up and clean out our minds, just the way we do our homes. What a difference it will make!

Start with Strengths
We usually know all about a person's diagnoses, needs, etc. What good will happen when we focus first on the person's strengths?

Trading Places
What needs to happen so you'd be willing, for one day, to trade places with a person with a disability?

Treatment
People with disabilities receive all kinds of treatments, but what about they way we actually treat them, day in and day out?

Walk in Their Shoes
Ahhh...what positive changes can occur when we try to walk in another's shoes.

What Will It Take?
Here's a negotiating strategy that can yield positive outcomes in a variety of ways.

What's Happening Today? What's Really Important?
Our efforts in providing assistance to a person with a disability is often focused somewhere in the future. But what's really important today?

When Is a Disability Not a Disability
Is a person's disability always important? When and where is it not? And what difference does it make?

When Less is More
Too much help can make a person helpless; starting with less help and adding more, as necessary, is a better strategy.

When the Table is Turned
When you sit on one side of the table, you see things one way. But what happens when you're on the other side?

You and I (adult version)
Review this comparison, then think about positive changes you can create.

You Are What You Learn
What does a person learn in aberrant "special" environments vs. ordinary, inclusive environments?

Ability to Choose + Helpful Tools = Success

When children or adults with disabilities are authorized to make their own choices and they have the tools they need, success is the result.


Advocate or Diplomat?

As activists, let's move from pleading to negotiating!


Assume the Best

It's time to move beyond the perceived "negatives" about a person with a disability and assume the best.


Benchmarks

What if you didn't meet benchmarks and were compared to others throughout your life? Yikes! Let's do better.


Best Hopes, Worst Fears

A helpful exercise that can clarify our thinking and generate great outcomes.


Can-List

Let's focus on what a person with a disability can do, instead of what he can't.


Culture of Caring

The word "care" is used a great deal in this field,  but we can do a better job when we begin to really care about what's important to people with disabilities.


Dental Patient (an analogy)

An insightful and thought-provoking article by the caring director of a human services agency.


Developmental Age vs. Chronological Age

Let's eliminate the harmful "developmental age" practice and allow people to "be" their chronological age.


Disability Business

Millions make a living in the disability field, but what about the employment of people with disabilities?


Disability Double Standard

We have one set of rules for people without disabilities; another set for people with disabilities. Until we eliminate this practice, little progress will be made.


Disability-Industrial Complex

A thoughtful critique of a multi-billion dollar business that impacts the lives of millions.


Educated Ignorance

How can people (parents and/or professionals) be highly educated yet still remain ignorant about children and adults with disabilities?


Elbow Room (or Nothing About Me Without Me!)

If your life has been programmed to the nth degree, it's no surprise that people with disabilities say, "Nothing about me without me!"


Environment, Environment, Environment

All of us are products of our environment; what's the impact of inclusive vs. segregated environments?


Eye Contact

Alert the Media: making eye contact isn't as important or as necessary as we think it is!


Eyes Wide Open or Shut?

Are we really seeing what's in front of us? You'll be able to relate to the examples in this article.


First, Do No Harm

We do a great deal to "help" people with disabilities. But we may actually be causing harm, too.


From Pity to Equality: What's Your Position?

On the continuum, where do you stand, how did you get there, and does your position need to change?


Go Beyond Goals, Think Outcomes

We may have many goals in mind for a person with a disability, but are we getting the desired outcomes?


Goals: Meaningful and Relevant or Garbage?

Too many goals written for an individual are meaningless and irrelevant. Let's do better!


Great Ideas

People with disabilities often have the best ideas—are we listening?


Hearts and Minds

We may work diligently on a person's body and brain, but what about her heart and mind?  


"How" is the Question

Before giving up on trying something new, let's ask, "How..." This strategy can lead to success!


Human Being Issue or Disability Issue?

Not every characteristic or trait is a result of a person's disability; it might simply be a "human being" issue.


IF-Thinking

Great outcomes can result when we first say, "If . . ."


In the Dance of Relationships, Who's Leading, Who's Following?

A person with a disability may have a variety of relationships with "helping" professionals, but who's in the lead of those relationships?


Interdependence

None of us are independent; we all need help from others. So let's not impose the "be independent goal" on people with disabilities.


It's About Trust

People with disabilities may be entrusted to the care of a variety of professionals. Do those professionals understand the trust issue?


Keep It Simple: Focus on Solutions, Not Problems

We often make things harder than they need to be; let's get on the Keep-It-Simple bandwagon. 


Let's Get Curious

We don't know it all; when we get curious, we'll learn what's really important to and for people with disabilities.


Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal

People with disabilities don't need to "get ready," they don't need to keep practicing. We need to make sure they can get on with their lives!


Marketing 101

It's time to start marketing the strengths, abilities, and other positive characteristics of people with disabilities.


Making Memories

Every day, we contribute to the memories of a person with a disability. What kind of memories will they be? 


Memories: Testimonies About the Living, Not Just the Dead

Obituaries always include the "best" about a person. Do we have to wait for a person to die to focus on all that's good about them?


Mixed Messages

"We don't want you to do such-and-such, but we're going to put you others who also do such-and-such." Does this make any sense?


New Agreements Create New Lives

If we make new agreements with ourselves, we'll be on the road to creating new lives.


No Responsibility? No Real Life.

If a person has no responsibilities, he's dependent and helpless, and that's not a real life.


One Thing
When it all feels overwhelming, let's focus on just one thing so we can get it done and be successful.

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You'll find helpful articles on these category pages, too:
Attitudes-Language
Children and Families
Community (includes behavior, assistive technology, environment, employment, supports, and more)


IDEAS FOR A BETTER WORLD
There are many ways we can make this world a better place.

​YOUR STORIES

People's real-life experiences can provide valuable of lessons. 

Regular Lives for Families with Children with Disabilities features yours truly, Kathie Snow, speaking about a variety of topics in 22 video clips, provided by the MN Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (with my thanks and gratitude).


Strategies

​Create Positive Change—Generate Better Outcomes!

 DISABILITY IS NATURAL!

New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense