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A Dream Fulfilled!

Watch this video of a Red Sox fan with Down Syndrome fulfilling his lifelong dream of singing the national anthem at Fenway Park.

Don’t Call Me Normal

Poet & author, Faith Jegede, talks about her autistic brothers and the importance of being different.

Watch the video of her speech on TEDTalks

Fashion Editor (And Her Wheelchair) Star in Clothing Ad

Fashion editor Jillian Mercado has made a name for herself behind the camera, but she appears just as at ease in front of one in Diesel’s new spring ad campaign. The edgy 26-year-old blogger, who has spastic muscular dystrophy, poses in her wheelchair in the ads, which demonstrate how easily anyone, regardless of body type, can rock Diesel clothing, Mercado said Tuesday. “Diesel is a company where everyone can wear it. You don’t have to look like a model to wear it. And I feel like these photos just show that,” she said on TODAY. “Every photo that they release, someone can relate to it. And that’s rare in the fashion industry, to be able to relate and say, ‘You know that’s me in that photo, through that person.’” From TODAY

CLICK HERE to read the entire article or go to http://www.today.com/style/fashion-editor-her-wheelchair-star-new-diesel-ads-2D12008803

Article: Obama Proclaims October 2013 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month

“…I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2013 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. I urge all Americans to embrace the talents and skills that individuals with disabilities bring to our workplaces and communities and to promote the right to equal employment opportunity for all people….” Click Here to read the full article.

Video: Redefine Disability

Redefine Disability: From the AAPD website www.aapd.com

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has issued a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) entitled Redefine Disability, airing now on cable networks carried by Comcast’s Xfinity TV service nationwide. Featuring four young adults with various disabilities, the PSA challenges Americans to appreciate the positive aspects of disability. In addition, the PSA encourages viewers to join with AAPD in breaking down the outdated stereotypes confronting many people with disabilities.

Article: Disability in School Sports

Earlier this year, the Obama administration passed a bill that requires all public schools to allow students with disabilities to participate in school organized sports. (Read more about the new law here). Once the law was put into effect, some schools were concerned about their ability to remain competitive in sports after the inclusion of students with disabilities. Others, such as Germantown High School in Memphis, Tenn. embraced the change and have benefited from the inclusion of student athletes with disabilities. After being approached with a request from a local parent named Maureen Andrews, Germantown High’s basketball coach, Wes Crump, made a spot on the team for Maureen’s son, David Andrews, a Germantown freshman born with Down syndrome. At the time, no one, not even David’s parents, could have predicted just how important David would become to the basketball program. In an article about David, coach Crump stated, “Maureen wasn’t asking for anything other than David maybe getting a sweat suit, team shoes, and for him to be on the bench with the team…” But now, “…He wears number 40. He leads the pregame chant. He swishes threes…” (Read full article here)

David’s story is impressive, moving and inspiring. However, it’s not entirely unique. More than 700 miles away, a similar story recently unfolded at Van Hoosen Middle School in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Owen Groesser, a 13 year-old basketball player who was also born with Down syndrome, made ESPN’ SportCenter highlights by shooting two three-point baskets in the last two minutes of the final game of the season. Owen’s performance has made him a YouTube sensation and a shining example, alongside David Andrews, of the competitive contributions student athletes with disabilities can bring to their teams. If they’re just given the opportunity.

Education Week: On Special Education

Education Week: On Special Education is an online news source which focuses specifically on issues in special education. With an archive of hundreds of articles, organized by subject (ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, Early Intervention, etc.) this is a great resource for keeping up with current events in the world of Special Education.

DeafNation

DeafNation is an exciting website that offers a variety entertainment programming for those with hearing disabilities. All shows are broadcast entirely in American Sign Language and range in focus from travelling, cooking, sign language talk shows and many more!