I used to work with teens with intellectual disabilities. Some of them weren't even aware when they started with my agency that they had any rights. A few from that same group left my program see me on the street now and are excited to tell me about the latest way in which they stood up for their rights.
It's an amazing privilege, to work with someone on becoming a good self-advocate...to examine with them what that means, and to see it start to sink in. Seeing the person start to apply the skills in their lives - well, that's a real "this is why I do this work" moment.
It takes courage to stand up for your rights, and practice - it's a skill. I was always proud of the teens I worked with for trying, no matter how it turned it. I've had to do it myself as a person with disabilities, and it can be pretty daunting, even when you're got support around you. I'm sure that I don't have to tell many of you this.
Keeping all this is mind, you can understand why I stand with Henry, and why I think you should too.
I Stand With Henry...Do You?
Henry has the makings of an amazing disability self-advocate. A young man with autism, he's non-verbal and uses a communication device. He wants you to know something:
Personally, I don't see why he can't go to his neighbourhood school. I stand with Henry.
If you do too, please show your support by leaving a comment on his video at YouTube, or on the blog that he wrote:
There's also a Facebook page:
It takes a lot to put yourself out there like this. Let's let Henry know that there are people who have heard his message and that agree that inclusion is the best way to go!
Have a great weekend...