The MDK Initiative - Supporting Individuals with Disabilities and their Families
The MDK Initiative, Inc. will serve to support individuals with disabilities and their families through holding a disability awareness and advocacy event along with supporting organizations that work on behalf of individuals and their families.
Organizations and causes to be supported and donated to through funds raised through the event include:
* Best Buddies * Spread the Word for Inclusion * Special Olympics
Our community event seeks to highlight the stories and issues surrounding the disability awareness community and promote diversity and inclusion for all.
The event will encompass some of the following:
* A walk/race or * A Charity game and * A Community Barbecue/Cookout and * A ceremony highlighting and promoting diversity and inclusion
I have long been involved in disability awareness and advocacy causes and issues due to my older brother, Joe, having disabilities/ I serve as one of Joe's back-up Personal Care Attendant's (PCA). Joe was born at 27 weeks because of placental separation. He suffered oxygen deprivation leading to a Grade IV intraventricular hemorrhage which ultimately caused brain damage. He has cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and various medical issues (gastroesophageal reflux). The brain damage caused a variety of difficulties from difficulty eating to balance/very tight tone issues. Joe lost his eyesight to the high amounts of oxygen required to keep him alive. Even with all of that, Joe is one of the most fun, inspiring and kind humans that you will know. He is a fighter and has never given up.
Disability Awareness and Advocacy
Disability awareness and advocacy is an issue that is close to my heart. I have a loved one who has disabilities but that does not change who he is as a person. We have a moral obligation to treat people with respect and dignity - as human beings.In the Declaration of Independence, we have a line that states, "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal…" This should mean exactly what it says. That all men and women, regardless of shape, size, religion, race, ethnicity, preferences, and characteristics, are all equal.Having a loved one with disabilities has taught me a lot about perspective. Many positive strides have been made in disability awareness, whether it be temporary or life enduring. However, there is always room for more improvement. There are many different ways to spread awareness and fairness. Even doing something such as helping to stop the use of the word "retard" in a derogatory manner to describe a person is a step in the right direction.People who have disabilities are normal people who have had something happen in their lives that cause them to have to do things perhaps a little differently than others. Not always, though. However, they are still human beings. While it is true that others must sometime help them do some things that they can no longer do, they still want to be treated as a human being like any other person. That's not such a hard thing to ask for or it shouldn't be anyways. As people who have disabilities have stated "Focus on the ability, not the disability." While it is not necessary to always call attention to a matter, disability awareness and education is an area that is still ongoing. Raising awareness and acting on efforts that are respectful and necessary is the best way to do this.It is important to remember that making a difference in this world is not always about doing what is popular; it is about doing what is right. Most people do the right thing when it comes to this issue. Let's make it all people. Below you will find writings and resources regarding this issue.
Projects and Experiences
Took part in a SibShop Panel Discussion as a panelist (2010) Wrote articles for high school newspaper, college newspaper and the Daily Hampshire Gazette regarding disability awareness