Online Learning & More

Apr 29, 2024

People experience disability is vastly different ways.

For our son, it means driving a motorized wheelchair, managing personal care attendants (PCAs) and multiple surgeries, and navigating special education and other government bureaucracies.

For our daughter, it means addressing ADHD and related issues, and learning not to define herself by them. She doesn’t consider herself “disabled,” especially in comparison to her brother. But they are both certainly challenged by their differences and both require individualized support to help them optimize their abilities.

Both of these amazing “kids” need parents who understand and empower them to be their best selves. Simply put, we need to learn about and understand their differences in order to help them bloom and thrive. 

We are not unique in this regard. A large and growing number of families experience disability in some form, along with related mental health challenges. According to the U.S. Census, more than 20 million families nationwide reported having at least one member with a disability. That’s why I’ve decided to develop a free webinar series to provide insights, guidance and support to parents, educators and others on topics of interest and relevance in today’s ever-changing world.

Won’t you please help me finalize our schedule by completing this quick survey and sharing it with others? Your input is very important to me.

If you have a challenge, or someone in your family does, don’t get discouraged. There’s always a way to reach your dreams—it just might not be the path everyone else takes.

Peyton Barber

Follow-up facts.

A few updates on information we’ve recently posted about:

Google announced its technology will now sync with Dynavox to enable greater independence at home. The new Google Assistant integration enables users to control smart home devices and arrange for tiles to give answers to common questions, including "What's the weather?" and "What's on the calendar for today?" Not to be outdone, Apple has included special features on its new IOS 14 update to help people with hearing and vision impairment. Competition is good.

One Ohio college is taking a new approach to inclusive education for people with intellectual disabilities. Its “College to Career” program utilizes volunteers to provide tutoring, workplace coaching and social mentoring. Sounds so good.

For years, I drove past Christie’s restaurant on Cross Highway in Westport, CT. I loved the food and atmosphere, but couldn’t get a wheelchair into the establishment. This made me so sad and angry, since I knew how much our family would have enjoyed the place. Imagine how thrilled I was to learn that new ownership has created The Porch at Christie’s! They seem to have thought of everything, including hiring people with disabilities and providing extensive opportunities for social interaction, life skills development and…wait for it…income! Another great reason to visit Connecticut!

Speaking of travel…this opinion piece inspires those of us who dream of adventure post-pandemic.

And in case you missed it, here’s the 2020 list of “Best Places to Live with a Disability.” Not included is this town in the Czech Republic, where 80% of the residents have some type of disability. Is this utopia?

Future learning opportunities.

Check out these upcoming events offering virtual guidance and information:

AUTISM RESEARCH — Tuesday, October 20th: Noon-12:30pm EST — Psychiatrist Dr. Roger Jou will give an introduction to the largest genetic study of autism to date. Come learn about the research community and how you can participate! Sponsored by Chapel Haven Schleifer Center and the SPARK at Yale University. Register here.

SPECIAL EDUCATION & COVID19 — Thursday, October 22nd: 7:00-8:00pm EST — Join leaders of five prominent special education schools in Connecticut to see what they’ve learned during the pandemic. What have they achieved and what keeps them up at night? What are the challenges that remain for the rest of the school year? Hosted by Special Education Legal Fund (SELF). Register here.

ADD/ADHD — November 5-7, 2020 — Join leaders from around the globe at CHADD’s two-day virtual conference. Research, treatments, strategies and supports, plus lots of online networking. Learn more here.

Interested in learning more about one-to-one coaching? Contact Kris for information on what this might look like for you, including outcomes, availability, fees and more.

Contact Kris

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