Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
We have been so blessed by many in our community who have embraced this call to end the r-word. So many have stepped up to help and the movement has spread near and far. Thank you dear friends. We ARE making an impact.
Most of the interview didn't survive the cutting room floor to make it into the 42 second spot. I talked about the history of the r-word, how the Spread the Word movement came to be, the DSN and Epsilon Delta event at the Illini Union, and Junior League's work to get tables in each of the junior and high schools on 3.31.09. I spoke of the struggles to be included and accepted in society when you have a developmental disability and the pain that this word can inflict on people with disabilities and those of us who love them. Thankfully, they list many of the details here on their website.
You'll see in the clip that the anchor says "Her mom says people can be ignorant and describe her little girl with words that hurt." What I remember talking about was that people who use the r-word as slang are often ignorant of the history of the word and the impact it can have and that we hope to educate others on the power of words. My comment about Sophie struggling was a about how she already struggles with reaching her milestones while living in a society where she has to fight for acceptance and inclusion and that we hope to educate others on valuing all people regardless of ability.
Interviews can be a blur and the final product after editing is always fun to see. Our reporter Jenny Gastwirth was really nice and a joy to work with. They did a good job and I'm grateful that we got coverage already, as the event isn't until next week.
Click here for the story. Try adjusting the bandwidth if you can't get the video to play.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
in cities and towns
Friday, March 20, 2009
When asked about the remark, the White House said the president did not intend to offend.
"The president made an off-hand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics," White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton said. "He thinks the Special Olympics is a wonderful program that gives an opportunity for people with disabilities from around the world."
On his way back to Washington on Air Force One, Obama called the chairman of the Special Olympics, Tim Shriver, to say he was sorry — even before the taped program aired late Thursday night.
click the image below for the official statement from the Special Olympics
Dear Mr. President,
I believe that sometimes the content of one's character can be revealed not in the mistakes we make, but how we go about making amends. I'm watching very closely to see what you do beyond the White House statement and phone call apology to Mr. Shriver.
You picked an interesting time to make such a cruel comparison on national television. In less than two weeks, people from across our nation are coming together to call for respect, acceptance, and dignity for all people regardless of ability. As our celebrity spokesman (actor John C. McGinley) put it so well, "it defies rational thought as to why you would pick on that group."
The 'Spread the Word to End the Word 3.31.09' campaign, which is being led by Special Olympics, has focused on the derogatory use of the words retard or retarded (the R-word), but at its core, this movement is so much more. It is our great hope that we can educate our fellow citizens, not just about the r-word but to go further to dispel the negative stereotypes associated with people with disabilities. When we do this, we hope to change minds about the value of the lives of our children, loved ones, and friends who have special needs. In doing so, there won't be a need for a new word to rise up and take the place of the r-word.
Mr. President, I have no doubt that you did not intend to hurt me or insult my daughter who has special needs with your thoughtless remark. That indeed, is exactly what you did. You did not call yourself the r-word, but your comment had the same meaning. This off-hand remark gave our nation permission to put themselves or others down by making comparisons to those with disabilities. This is unacceptable.
Ours is a community that has done nothing to you, who struggle every day to be included and to prove their value. Last night the leader of our nation used our community as the butt of a self-deprecating joke. It is my job, my duty as a mother to defend and protect my child against such cruel behavior just as it is your job to lead. So lead Mr. President.
On 3.31.09, in your home state, a state ranked dead last for funding for services for people with developmental disabilities, we will be gathering in numbers to Spread the Word. Please consider this a personal invitation to join us at our event. Click the button below for more details.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Here's the superstar at playgroup yesterday.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Doulas do not do the medical side of childbirth. Their focus is on the comfort of the mom. They can run interference between staff and parents and help translate any confusing decisions or terms that may come up. Their bag of tricks to make the birth the best experience it can be is bottomless. They are trained to recognize the stages of labor and know quite a bit about positioning and massage during labor and delivery. A doula worth her salt will assist in all births, whether it be cesarean, natural, with or without drugs. Mark is an even bigger advocate for using doulas than I am. He can focus on being my husband and not worry so much about the rest of it because we have a trained partner to help guide our way.
Besides being a comfort to parents, studies show many benefits to having a doula present:
- tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
- reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
- reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction
- reduces the requests for pain medication and epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans
- women report greater satisfaction with their birth experience, make more positive assessments of their babies, and less postpartum depression
- babies have shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to special care nurseries, breastfeed more easily and have more affectionate mothers in the postpartum period
Bare belly shots below complete with unedited stretch marks and gall bladder surgery scars. Can't handle it? X out now.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Q In the script, the word "retard" is used over and over. The comedy "Tropic Thunder" received a great deal of criticism for using the same word. Was there any concern over how this might be received?
A I've heard nothing. There could very well be something, but I haven't heard anything. We shot it probably the same time as ["Tropic Thunder"]. I wasn't in the editing room. You'll have to talk to the guys who made those decisions.
Q But, as a comedian, is that just a toxic word now?
A It does seem to be. You can see it from a parent's point of view. But the way they use it in the movie is funny. It's silly. It's not going out to hurt anybody. It's definitely not coming from an evil place; it's just coming from the way people talk.
Funny? Here's ONE example of what's "funny" about the "R" Word in this movie.
The best friend is Eugene (Cregger), a high-school student who doubles as an abstinence lecturer. Along with his devout girlfriend Cindi (Raquel Alessi), Eugene recounts how his brother had sex and then had "retard babies" that later went on to burn down his house and kill his mother. The tirade is accompanied by projections of Syphilis infected no-no areas. (reported here)
Special Olympics has more to say, including contact information. (click here) Also read more at Patricia E. Bauer's site (click here)
Thursday, March 12, 2009
If the embedded video is acting wonky, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbqtuFemMOE
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Mark always notices the quirkiest things. This sign at Dillards disturbed him, so he snapped a shot.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I've wanted to do this for a long time
I wasn't able to recreate the hair style exactly (I'm much more poofy today, but then I don't have the patience for spending much time on hair. Still it's a dramatic change and oh so cute. When I got picked up yesterday, Alexander said excitedly, "Oh Mom. Your hair is beautiful!" That's all I needed to hear.
Here is the apology JCM refers to in the above clip. Who would have ever thought I'd be posting about Bill? Whether or not you think it's a sincere apology, it is an apology and I'm sure he gets complaints every day. I'm happy that he did this.
Here's a poster created by an intern in Missouri. You can print it out on 8.5 x 11 or 11 x 14 paper and post at your schools. (click the image to enlarge it)
Thursday, March 5, 2009
We are so excited at the unbelievable response we have received in anticipation for End the R-Word Day on 3.31.09! We have been inundated by hundreds of emails such as yours by people across the country filled with enthusiasm and support. However, this has also left us unable to respond to each individual email so we also want to apologize to those who have been waiting several days for a response. We are hard at work organizing a way that everyone can get involved and buy t-shirts, posters, fliers, stickers and more.
So, in response to all your requests to buy t-shirts and get involved, we're going to ask that you give us just a bit more time to make arrangements so that everyone can make a difference. Here's the website that's going to serve as our home base for this event so please check this site periodically for more information. http://www.specialolympics.org/03-31-09_spread_the_word.aspx All our the supplies and information that you will need will be available in the next week or so.
Thanks again for all your support and enthusiasm.
Tim and Soeren
*Please note, orders must be received by March 16 in order to guarantee arrival by March 30. Orders received on March 17 will incur expedited shipping charges. Orders received on March 18 or later cannot be guaranteed to arrive by March 30.**All prices include a donation to Special Olympics. Thank you!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
On another note, after being on the waiting list for more than a year, we are going to receive Respite! That's 15 hours a month (40 hours quarterly) of help watching Miss Soph so that I can get housework done, run errands, or (gasp) get out of the house!!! Our regular sitters are under 18, so we'll probably use some of the respite workers that DSC already works with (many of whom are special education students). Our intake meeting is this week and then we're good to go. This is a real blessing for our little family.
Lastly, the elevator in our hotel has a button that simply says, "earthquake." hmmm? Do I really have the power to cause an earthquake simply by pushing that button?
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Thank you for your interest in spreading the word. Special Olympics has a new site dedicated to Spread the Word (click here) Please visit there often as they are adding information regularly. Make sure to click on the right hand side where it says "Spread the Word Resources" where you will find a wealth of information, including a toolkit with everything you need.
WHAT IS END THE R-WORD DAY?
End the R-Word Day is a day to collect pledges to acknowledge the hurtful nature of the words "retard(ed)" and to end the casual and pejorative uses of the word.
"This is by no means an effort to ban a word legally but rather by way of societal consensus. That is, we are trying to educate people about the hurtful consequences of the R-word and asking that people, once informed, CHOOSE not to use it. We are not language police. We are educators. After you learn about the effects that the R-word has on people with disabilities and their families, I hope that you will remove it from your vocabulary. In the end, that is all I can ask."
WHEN IS END THE R-WORD DAY?
HOW CAN I BE INVOLVED WITH END THE R-WORD DAY?
- Champaign County has planned an event. Click HERE for more details. Facebook users can do a search for this local event: Champaign County End the Word 3.31.09 (this is listed as an event) RSVP and check that link for updates.
- The Special Olympics site has many great event ideas in their "Spread the Word Resources" page. (click here)
- Take the pledge at www.r-word.org
- For the national page, Facebook users can search for 'Campaign to Ban "R" Word' (this is listed as a cause) and you can also search for 'End the R-Word Day 3.31.09' (this is listed as an event). You can join/RSVP and then keep checking those links for updates.
All of us have a role to play in making the world a more accepting place for people with intellectual disabilities.
Take a day to use more accepting language.
Take a day tell your friends to do the same.
Take a day to embrace the humanity of all people.
Take a day to end the R-word.
Spread the Word to End the Word.
See related posts on this blog by clicking HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE Our first tv spot for the local event: HERE
T-shirts and buttons are available to order on the Special Olympics site (click here)
*Please note, t-shirt and button orders NEEDED TO BE RECEIVED BY MARCH 16 in order to guarantee arrival by March 30. Orders received on March 17 will incur expedited shipping charges. Orders received on March 18 or later cannot be guaranteed to arrive by March 30.**All prices include a donation to Special Olympics. Thank you!