Shots, Soaring & Setting an Example

May 07, 2024

What have you started doing differently in the pandemic that you want to continue in your “new normal”? Although Covid19 has ushered in countless horrors and heartbreak, it has also caused many of us to change up our habits in positive ways. I’ve learned that slowing down enough to notice small things makes life feel bigger sometimes. And I don’t want to stop doing this, no matter how much the world opens up again.

But there’s more. Some people with disabilities say that, despite all the hardships and tragedy, Covid19 has enabled them to participate more fully in life. For example, the increase in virtual learning has eliminated the need to navigate spaces and places that are not handicap accessible.

activist said it best this way: “One of the positive side effects of pandemic life has been that it forced society to do something disabled people have been asking for years: Be more flexible and open to doing things differently.” As we welcome a new month, let us also welcome new ways of doing things that are more inclusive and accommodating and make life more meaningful for all. Now that’s a habit worth holding onto.

Go and love someone exactly as they are.  And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves.  When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.  

Wes Angelozzi

Vaccination challenges.

Covid19 and people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) are once again in the news.  Across the country, states are now vaccinating people in this demographic.  But accessing vaccines is still a challenge for many individuals and their families.  Last week, HHS announced plans to fund nearly $100 million in grants to provide assistance with scheduling vaccine appointments, transportation to vaccine sites and other direct support.  Will this make a difference? What has your family’s experience been?  How can we improve the vaccination roll-out for those with I/DD?


More jobs, please.

In spite of the pandemic, young people with disabilities yearn to contribute to their communities.  After completing high school and working hard to become adults, they deserve the chance to learn and grow through employment and vocational skills development. Non-profits like Partners in Possibility and Team Woofgang & Co. help individuals on the path towards independence. And companies like Mitsubishi and Sephora have recently stepped up, too. Offering opportunities for meaningful work helps build strong community leaders of all abilities. This organization in Ohio is actually serving our nation’s heroes, along with coffee, ice cream and the special needs community.  What’s working where you live?   


Meaningful mentors.

Research shows that young adults with disabilities can benefit from mentoring, too.   Academic and career development, psychosocial health and quality of life, transition, and life skills can all be enhanced by a good mentoring program.  Might this be something to pursue with your loved one?  Explore here to discover mentor/mentee possibilities in your area.   

Time to soar.

Hats off to Israeli airline El Al for its recent efforts to promote disability inclusion, equity and access.  Last week, the company converted its Boeing 737 advanced flight simulator to make it wheelchair accessible, enabling several young adults with disabilities to become “pilots for a day.” ADI, a leading provider of rehabilitation services in Israel, assisted with the event. What an amazing experience for all involved!  Let’s hope companies worldwide follow this model to develop creative career exploration opportunities for people of all abilities.

Shine on.

A network of New York-based service providers and advocates for youth with I/DD announced Project SHINE this week, a program to provide equitable access to high-quality information and supportive laws that ensure informed sexual well-being across the lifespan. As reported here previously, young people with I/DD can experience a host of challenges related to sexuality. They need appropriate education on the subject, as well as self-advocacy skills to help them make healthy decisions and stay safe. Shine on, indeed.



This e-newsletter is devoted to family members and caregivers committed to helping young adults with disabilities bloom and grow. Each issue is designed to inform and empower, expanding your knowledge, resources and skills to deal with whatever “normal” looks like for you and those you love. 

Please comment, share and let me know what you like and what you want to learn more about. Subscribing is free, but I’ll take a “heart” anytime if the spirit moves you. This helps others find Another Normal online (always a good thing). 

Until next week…thanks for being 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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