Vaccines, Astronauts & Santa

Apr 29, 2024

December is in full steam, and I’m trying to focus on silver linings this year. Feeling grateful and excited about 2021 and the possibility of life returning to whatever normal is or was. (My memory is a bit fuzzy, I must admit.) Today’s issue highlights challenges with vaccine distribution, but also offers good news for caregivers and a few ideas for Santa. Please share, comment and/or leave me a heart. If this e-mail was forwarded to you, subscribe below for your own copy. Welcome one and all.

“I wish for a world that views disability, mental or physical, not as a hindrance but as unique attributes that can be seen as powerful assets if given the right opportunities.”

― Oliver Sacks, neurologist and author

Who gets the vaccine?

Research indicates that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) disproportionately are at heightened risk of death by Covid-19. According to a U.K. study, for example, people with down syndrome are 10 times more likely to die from the coronavirus than those without. As we allocate vaccines for this virus, shouldn’t these individuals get top priority? Current CDC guidelines only prioritize people with I/DD who live in congregate settings. What about those living at home with families or independently in their communities, along with their caregivers? Advocates are asking government officials to consider this perspective as the vaccine gets distributed across the U.S. this weekContact your congressional representatives today to share your support.

Melinda Gates has your back.

The co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is encouraging President Elect Joe Biden to designate a high-ranking position within his administration to address the very real caregiving issues spotlighted by the pandemic. Gates puts it simply, “To safely reopen the country, healthy people need to be able to go to work and sick people need to be able to stay home.” Many of them need caregivers, and caregivers need support. A caregiving czar sounds like a great appointment to me. Gates asserts that workers with caregiving responsibilities need greater flexibility from their employers, too, in order for the economy to rebound. What do you make of all this?

This gift gives twice.

Available for online purchase, these beautiful NEST candles are the perfect holiday gift, since a portion of the proceeds will be donated back to Next for Autism to help advance the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum. The non-profit’s co-founder was inspired by her 20-year-old son with autism to create this luscious candle, available in a variety of sizes and enhanced by the aroma of apple blossoms, white amber and cedarwood. Just ordered mine! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Virtual support.

I recently learned about a new online support platform for people with disabilities called Different & Able. It was founded by Alexandra Nicklas to help people with disabilities and medical conditions find the support and resources to live happy and “able” lives. Throughout her life, Alexandra has dealt with her own differences. She’s now looking for people with disabilities to contribute personal stories for her website. This might be a fun activity to help your son or daughter develop self-advocacy and expressive skills. Take a look at this community where people can share and support each other. Do you know someone who needs this connection?

Also check out VoiceItt, a speech-recognition platform which announced a partnership last week with Alexa to enable individuals with atypical speech to utilize the Amazon Echo. Talk about enhancing independence…Santa definitely needs to know about this!

Shoot for the stars.

It turns out astronauts are a lot like special needs parents. According to NASA’s Christina Koch, “One of the qualities that astronauts develop is adaptability and managing expectations. I think that we really honed the skill of being able to be OK with whatever comes down the road, and to just adapt our hopes and dreams to what that situation is and make the best of it.” Sound familiar?

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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