Three Voices of Inspiration: Promoting Accommodation, Acceptance and Appreciation of Differences 3

What is Inspiration? The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines inspiration as “the act or power of moving the intellect or emotions.” People who work to change the world to a place where we appreciate differences inspire others. They accept the challenge to heal society of its wrongs. They raise their voices to educate others as they work to forgive them for their lack of understanding.

I am among the privileged that heard voices of inspiration recently at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities & Diversity. Their voices made me realize that they are not the ones disabled; society’s treatment of them gives this illusion. The truth is anyone who fails to see others soul to soul is far more disabled than anyone we call “disabled.” Society is wasting brilliant minds by failing to see this.

There was so much inspiration in one place! Three of the voices that inspired me the most were Keith P. Jones of Soul Touchin, Drew Goldsmith of IamNorm.org and Laura Nagle of Vectors of Autism. Click on the links for more information about them.

Keith P. Jones has cerebral palsy, but please do not feel sorry for him. He is one of the best voices for advocacy I have ever had the privilege to hear. He gave his presentation to a standing room only crowd while he cracked jokes and told how he handles those who inappropriately invade his personal space. Hint: Never ever ask to pray for him and then pray for the “sins of his mother.” His mother did not cause his cerebral palsy and she is no sinner!

Drew Goldsmith turns sixteen this month, but he has already accomplished much in his young life, so please No Pity when you learn that he is autistic. Not only is he a film creator, he also started a website I am Norm to educate others and change the perception of others about being “normal.” I love this young man and wish him all the best in the future. I know he can go far if society allows him to do so.

Laura Nagle is an Aspie woman who prefers being called an Aspie instead of Autistic because, “That man (Hans Asperger) got us.” I am proud to call her my friend. She found me on Twitter months ago and identified me as a “half-Aspie”, a term I have come to love. The movie Vectors of Autism premiers April 13th in Flagstaff, AZ on the NAU campus. She talks about how society holds people back much more than anything else does. She wants to heal society as do I. She does not like using the word disability and I understand completely. She and other adults give parents a better understanding of Aspie and autistic children in a way that no one else can.

Help Eliminate Bullying! Get Involved!

Dear subscribers,

The first posting had the wrong link. Please read this one to get the correct one. Mahalo!

Autism As They Grow: http://goo.gl/wJaXL8 

Listen to internet radio with SpecialNeedsTalkRadio on Blog Talk Radio

Mahalo To Bobbi Sheahan and Amalia Starr for inviting me to their show and for being terrific hosts!

Bringing It All Together 9

This year I am scaling back. I will continue to be on Twitter and I will continue to post my blogs to Facebook. However, I need more time to take care of my health, to spend with my family and to work on my second novel, and I need to focus more on forgiveness and gratitude.

I am not giving up on my dreams for acceptance of differences and bully free schools. I will address the tough issues on this blog by bringing you stories of those who are helping, rather than the sad stories that the news media uses to hype up your emotions for a day or two. I also hope to do some presentations and to exhibit at some local venues this year.

I will be adding a couple of new pages to my blog, one for featured stories and one for my progress on my next novel, a topic I started addressing on my second blog. Maintaining two blogs is not working, so I plan to move my posts from my second blog to this blog.

Mahalo for your continued support as I make these changes.

Mele Kalikimaka from Hawaii: Where Christmas Is Green and Bright 2

Green and Bright

Last year for Christmas I shared my dream for the future. I hoped and prayed for 2011 to be a year of change, where people made an honest effort to be more open-minded and to really try to educate themselves about differences. While some disappointments occurred in 2011, I am grateful for those who listened and I hope more will listen in 2012.

Like Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a dream. I still dream of a world where bystanders, parents, teachers, counselors, principals, and all people stand up to bullies and their parents and let them know it truly is time for change. I dream of a world that is bully free.  I dream of a world where we reward kindness and it is more highly desired than a football championship. I dream of a world where others understand and accept my daughter and others on the autism spectrum along with others with differences.

As I dream, I also try to help spread the word that we all need to help change the world. I am grateful for those who share my dream and help spread the message. Kindness, respect, understanding and acceptance of differences should have a greater value in our society and I pray I will live to see the day that they do. Until then, I wish you Happy Holidays and in the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us everyone.”