Exceptional Blog is a collaboration of blogs written by our amazing community. Please visit throughout the week to read posts for you by people who can relate with you. We have been fortunate enough to partner with a diverse group of people who may not all be professional writers but they all have fantastic stories to tell.

By Mary Ellen Bogucki

PART TWO

Recently, while attending the Special Olympics World Tennis Invitational in Santo Domingo, I took notice of the theme on the back of many t-shirts–“Stand Up For Inclusion!” I realized how important the Inclusion Revolution movement truly is and I recognized the time is now to STAND UP for inclusion! I understood this because there was a video that went viral showing

By Mary Ellen Bogucki

PART ONE

A few months ago, I wrote about the “Inclusion Revolution” and the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary celebration. While we were at the 50th celebration, my daughter Bree had the great honor of meeting Cándida Montilla de Medina, the First Lady of the Dominican Republic. We also had the privilege of hearing the First Lady, who is

by Maxine Rosaler

When I was looking for schools for my son twenty years ago, private special education schools were the only schools equipped to give autistic children anywhere near the kind of help they needed. The competition for these schools was very stiff: it was not usual to find out that there were fifty applicants for every spot. And if a parent was lucky enough to have her child accepted at one

by Tulika Prasad

We all know how difficult it is for a differently abled individual to navigate the world with its prejudices. There is much to be desired when it comes to acceptance and inclusions. It often makes me nervous thinking about what kind of a world will my son find himself in when he grows up and when I might not be around to be his eyes , ears, and voice.

by Carey Handley

Several years ago, when I was in counseling for depression, my therapist asked when the last time was I went away with the girls for the weekend. My very clever response was to look at her blankly and say, “Uh…never. It’s never crossed my mind.” She returned the blank look and, speaking with disbelief, told me it was about time I did exactly that. Later that night, as I was

by Lisa Blumberg

On Friday March 23, 2018, when Janice, the pet therapy lady, came with a languid dog whose name evades me, I could still take some steps if I leaned my full weight on my walker. My internist had just told me that my MRI indicated that the progressive weakness in my extremities was being caused by upper spinal cord compression from cervical stenosis. This totally surprised me. I was having

bJulie McIsaac, M.A

Sometimes we all need a little more. It looks different for all of us: more attention or more alone time, more cuddles or more space, more structure or more flexibility. Maybe it’s a developmental stage, maybe it’s circumstance, mood or personality. Whatever it is, we notice and those around us notice these moments of need. In our family, my son has needed more of me lately. At home, he

 by Carey Handley

What do you see when you look at my daughter? I’ve sometimes wondered how other people see her. I wanted a daughter perhaps more than anything else in the world. So much so that I wished for her when I was at the Wishing Door in a mosque in Cairo, Egypt followed a few days later by a wish tucked into a crevice in the Western Wall in Israel. My

Some healthcare professionals enjoy the privilege of making a positive difference in the lives of emotionally, developmentally, mentally and physically disabled people. In academic settings, for example, special needs teachers nurture a supportive environment that enhances the educational experience of disabled learners. Entry-level disability specialists may find employment in administrative positions or at special needs schools, rehabilitation centers or mental health facilities. Read on to learn about 4 rewarding professions that involve working with disabled

Lance Robertson, Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator, ACL
Throughout Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we mourn the loss of victims of domestic violence, support the resiliency of survivors, and spread the message that healthy relationships are not violent. At the Administration for Community Living (ACL), our mission is to promote individuals’ independence, health, and wellbeing through our programs for older