Obtaining employment for those with disabilities can be challenging. But with proper supports, education, and utilizing available resources individuals with disabilities are often the most reliable and productive employees. Although Iowa has a relatively low unemployment rate as compared to other states in the nation, the Iowa Workforce and Development estimates that approximately 40% of those with disabilities in Iowa are unemployed. This is unacceptable. Job preparedness and planning is…Continue
More text language? No, these are acronyms that every parent of a child will become very familiar with, if not already so. These are the two terms that are foundational to the education of every special ed student. As a parent and being introduced to the world of special education, it can be a daunting task, and overwhelming to learn about this new world of education. But to any new parent, don't worry, it comes in bits and pieces, so you are not required to learn it all at one…Continue
Cheerleading, swim team, chorus, band, the school play... what these all have in common is that these activities included a participant that also happened to have a disability. It is wonderful if teachers, coaches, and administrators want to include students of all abilities in their school's extra-curricular activities out of their desire to be inclusive of all students, but this is usually the exception, rather than the norm. My daughter had the extraordinary opportunity to be a part of…Continue
Over the years, my brother has had the chance to participate in several athletic activities, despite his cerebral palsy. When he was younger, he joined our extended family for picnic softball games; and he’s done swimming and aquatic therapy in more recent years. But the law also guarantees that students with disabilities have the right to participate in athletics at school too.…Continue
Added by Matt Bockert on June 30, 2014 at 9:00pm — No Comments
It’s a stormy day as I’m writing this. For some people, it might be a good day to stay inside and watch a movie or a good TV marathon. Disabled actors and characters are showing up more on TV and film. I’ve put together a list of TV shows and movies that feature disabled actors or people playing disabled characters.
I was recently checking out some videos on YouTube and I love the stories of singing competitions when an underdog blows the judges away. One such story is that of Rion Paige who not only blew the X Factor judges away during her audition, but blew the world away as a finalist in Season 13.
Rion is spectacular. I bet I will be buying one of her albums soon. …
Added by Joanna Schroeder on June 30, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments
Since I started contributing to the FIND website, I’ve mostly shared stories about my brother with cerebral palsy. But before my brother was even born, my family had already learned to appreciate a disabled relative through my uncle David, who had Down’s syndrome. I mentioned one of the specific struggles my family had with David in…Continue
I didn't realize how much my younger son felt responsible for his older sister until my husband and I were casually discussing where we should go on vacation. He was only about 8 years old at the time, as he pipes up and says "I don't want to go on vacation, I worry too much about (my sister) in case she should run away and get lost". I had no idea that my youngest child felt so responsible for his older sister. I felt horrible that he had taken this upon himself at such a young…Continue
Added by Lisa Woiwood on June 29, 2014 at 11:57pm — No Comments
With the Iowa State Fair right around the corner, I wanted to share some of the tips my brother uses to make his visit more enjoyable, and also share a story from a past state fair. The Iowa State Fair website has a page with information for people with disabilities. One of the things offered is scooter and wheelchair…Continue
I recently wrote a blog entry about adaptations my dad made for my brother’s bike many years ago, plus new kinds of bikes more widely available today. My brother has cerebral palsy, so it was necessary to have two wheels in the back to keep his bike balanced. After his bike with custom adaptations needed to…Continue
Added by Matt Bockert on June 28, 2014 at 9:00pm — No Comments
Most people can remember a time growing up when they witnessed bullying, were bullied themselves or even were a bully to others. Unfortunately, people with disabilities can be particularly susceptible to bullying. My brother told me about a time in middle school when a group of kids were making fun of his friend who had dwarfism. Another group of boys from the same special education class as my brother and his…Continue
After I graduated from college, I had the opportunity to teach English in China for two years. I lived in a city about 250 miles south of Beijing. The city, modest in size by China’s standards, had about two million people in the city proper and about eight million when the surrounding rural areas were included. But the actual land area of the city wasn’t any bigger than Des Moines. The combination of being far…Continue
Added by Matt Bockert on June 27, 2014 at 9:00pm — No Comments
I love this picture! How can you help your child to be active this summer? I have found that it is always a challenge to keep my daughter physically active. Those with disabilities have increased barriers and challenges that make it difficult for them. Studies have shown that exercise improves…Continue
Added by Lisa Woiwood on June 27, 2014 at 2:30pm — No Comments
Did you realize that the "cloud" sees no disabilities?
Many of you are probably wondering what in the world the "cloud" is. I think I'm still trying to figure it out. But in a nutshell, the cloud is where our data lives - in virtual space, per se. It's the new big thing in data management.
Many of us also think of the cloud as being many social media apps and sites. When I am sending a 140 character Twitter message, no one knows I have a disability. When someone is using…Continue
Added by Joanna Schroeder on June 27, 2014 at 10:30am — No Comments
Transition planning begins at 14 years old. I know that seems to be way ahead of the game. However, according to special ed law, transition must be addressed at this age. I know that the fall seems like a long ways off, but it will be here before you know it. For those of you whose child will soon be reaching this age, educators will present you with some new language when you sit down for your IEP meeting. There are three components to transition; living, learning, and working. Each…Continue
Added by Lisa Woiwood on June 26, 2014 at 4:21pm — No Comments
One thing that I have been struggling with is what my future will look like now that I have a physical disability. But I may not be struggling for the reason you think.
I'm a planner. A big planner when it comes to work and major life decisions but I can be spontaneous on little things like taking a weekend trip to a lake. So when I was given my diagnoses by the specialist who would do my hip surgeries and told that I would never get back full mobility in either of my hips, my doctor…Continue
Added by Joanna Schroeder on June 26, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments
When Shelby Nurse spoke during the 2014 Together We Can conference I was really moved. Born with spina bifida, she has gone from the NICU to a senior at University of South Florida majoring in psychology. Let's be honest. The fact that while she is a successful college student is amazing. But what really resonated with me was when she spoke about inclusion.…Continue
Have a new iPad or tablet you want to protect? Or maybe yours is showing some wear and tear? There are many protective cases designed to appeal to kids. Check out Xodo, Speck and HDE soft iPad protective cases for…Continue
I’ve written about my brother before on this website. But another person in our family who had a disability was my uncle David. He had Down’s Syndrome, and my Grandma cared for him his whole life. David passed away about five years ago, but we all remember the simple things he used to enjoy. We also remember a time when David struggled with eating of any kind, and the persistence it took to find…Continue
I can hear the saxophone in my head energetically playing the song "Pick up the pieces" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfAJLGFWxYo in case you need a flashback to 1974) as I write the title to my latest blog post. However, picking up the pieces in life is not nearly as spunky,funky or fun as this golden oldie. How do you pick up the pieces when you have a child with a disability? And often this is not just a one time event, but…Continue