Category Archives: Inclusion

Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day

Today marks the 10th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day. There are many ways people can celebrate and share stories and videos.  The website has multiple resources to help celebrate diversity and inclusion.

21 March 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day and each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder.

Down Syndrome International encourages our friends all over the world to choose your own activities and events to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities. We will share your WDSD World Events on our dedicated WDSD website in a single global meeting place.

For WDSD 2015, DSi will focus on:

‘My Opportunities, My Choices’ – Enjoying Full and Equal Rights and the Role of Families

Learn more here.

If you have a facebook page, go to this story about how a woman’s 5-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome inspired her to open a bakery to employ people with DS and other special needs.

Utah Project for Visually Impaired Focuses on Transition for Youth

Project STRIVE (Successful Transition Requires Independence, Vocation & Education) is an organization that focuses on the development of transition skills for youth who are blind and visually impaired.

NFB Project STRIVE is dedicated in providing quality programs to help meet the unique needs of blind and visually impaired youth throughout Utah. Project STRIVE instructors are positive, educated, blind adults who are fully dedicated to model, mentor, encourage and teach life, education, and employment readiness skills. These skills, along with a positive attitude towards blindness is absolutely critical for blind and visually impaired youth to transitionsuccessfully as adults.

Most of the updated information about the activities of Project STRIVE can be found on its facebook page.

This promotional video was created two years ago and describes more about the project.

The website is located here.

Canadian Man with Autism Finds His Employment Niche

Finding a person’s interests and preferences is crucial to providing appropriate transition services.  The young man in this article has been able to find his niche using his strengths and interests.  The author alludes to the inefficiency of  Canadian schools in serving youth with disabilities as they transition into adulthood and this man’s parents forged ahead until they helped their son find a suitable program and business for him.

The next time you are cursing the assembly instructions for an IKEA desk or bookshelf, you will wish you were living in Edmonton.

Residents in the Alberta capital can hire Brad Fremmerlid, a 24-year-old man with severe autism who can build anything.

Although he doesn’t read or speak, Fremmerlid has an amazing ability to understand the most complex diagrams, blueprints and pictorial instructions.

And for a small fee — currently about $20 — he will build any piece of furniture in your home.

“Everyone tells us we should be charging more, but we’re not really looking for money,” said his father, Mark Fremmerlid, an air ambulance pilot, who launched the business for his son this month. “We just want him to have something meaningful to do.

“It’s just started, but it seems to be so good for him to go to someone’s place and have a problem to solve,” he said in a telephone interview this week.

So far, the business — Made by Brad — has had eight clients, who have asked the young man to assemble everything from a shower caddy to a filing cabinet.

Mark books appointments through the company’s website. Brad communicates through rudimentary hand signs. But a support worker, who drives him to the jobs, assists with any questions a client may have.

Read the article here.

National Service – Including People with Disabilities

There is an increasing interest in providing some transition experiences through service learning.  One Organization, the National Service Inlcusion Project (NSIP), provides technical assistance for organizations to include people with disabilities in their service program.  The NSIP website is filled with tools and resources for those interested in starting or enhancing a service program for people with disabilities.

One story highlights a young man with Cerebral Palsy developing life skills through service in Iowa.

As an individual with cerebral palsy, many activities are more exhausting to me than to the average person. Growing up, I was told that physical therapy and exercise was the number one way to work on building my endurance, mainly so I would be able to be active and productive as I got older. Things would not come easy for me, as I was told, so I would need to work all the more diligently to stay up with others, be it physically, academically, or socially. It seems only natural, therefore, that the same thing can be said about serving others. I decided to take part in AmeriCorps’ Iowa Campus Compact program primarily because I was feeling a strong call to volunteer and serve others. The crux was that I did not feel confident in my own ability to follow through with such an important yet challenging call. I knew from past experience that if the going got tough early on, if I felt that I was incapable of serving meaningfully or in a way that suited my capabilities, there was a chance that I might get disgruntled and quit altogether. Acknowledging that quitting was not an option, I turned to the Iowa Campus Compact program as a kind of service therapy. I would be able to build up my service muscles with others, sharing our experiences and holding each other accountable.

Read more about NSIP and how to get involved here.


Decade after ‘P.J.’ settlement, special education debate rages in Connecticut

This article cites a court case about a student with disabilities and inclusion.  The link to the article is pasted below.  Please consider taking the Transition Universe poll on inclusion. What are your thoughts in inclusion in the general curriculum for students with disabilities?  Does inlcusion have an impact on transition to adulthood?

New Haven Register article

Nicholas Glomb of Vernon, who has Down syndrome, was able to spend his school years in regular classrooms with his non-disabled classmates.

Today, at age 25, he has friends, works at a supermarket and aspires to have his own food service business.

“None of this would have been possible without him being included in general education classes,” said his father, Walter Glomb.

Proponents of the movement in recent years to include disabled children in regular education classes as much as possible point to success stories like Nicholas.

But others say special education students sometimes end up isolated and unable to keep pace.

Read more here.