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This dairy was inspired by a fellow Kossack who wanted to know where to begin and how to get involved with advocacy in the disabled community. The best way for me to tell the story of how I unknowingly because a warrior mom is to tell it in part from the beginning...That moment many of you know, that moment when you, your child, your spouse, parent, anyone you know and love has just had the world as it was known rocked to its core by one word: Disability. Aside from the obvious, caring for immediate health needs, pushing yourself out from the dark place and pulling your heart out of throat, what happens next? What do you DO next?  This is the spot I was in nearly 23 years ago with my daughter. Shock over the diagnosis, shock over my world coming apart,  and I was alone in a small town. Then I met my mentor and she helped me find other parents like me, she helped me find programs to help my child and then she tasked me with the biggest challenge: share the information, find others like you.  And that’s how I began my life as an advocate for  my child, and the disabled community.

KosAbility is a community diary series posted at 5 PM ET every Sunday by volunteer diarists. This is a gathering place for people who are living with disabilities, who love someone with a disability, or who want to know more about the issues surrounding this topic. There are two parts to each diary. First, a volunteer diarist will offer their specific knowledge and insight about a topic they know intimately. Then, readers are invited to comment on what they've read and/or ask general questions about disabilities share something they've learned, tell bad jokes, post photos, or rage about the unfairness of their situation. Our only rule is to be kind; trolls will be spayed or neutered.
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The NBC News site asks if anyone notice the 2000th death in Afghanistan...Yes I did, we did--My hometown of Tolar gathered to honor our fallen hero Wednesday night.

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Hurray! The Texas State Congress has finally been out crazied. I know, it's shocking who would have thunk? But it's real, Wyoming has gone over the edge, the crazy has taken them over. I used to think Dick Cheney was nuts just because, well he is. End of story. Nope, turns out I was wrong there's a whole passel of crazy in Wyoming. And guess what? They're running the state!

Wyoming House advances doomsday bill
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KosAbility is a community diary series posted at 5 PM ET every Sunday and Wednesday by volunteer diarists. This is a gathering place for people who are living with disabilities, who love someone with a disability, or who want to know more about the issues surrounding this topic.  There are two parts to each diary.  First, a volunteer diarist will offer their specific knowledge and insight about a topic they know intimately. Then, readers are invited to comment on what they've read and or ask general questions about disabilities, share something they've learned, tell bad jokes, post photos, or rage about the unfairness of their situation. Our only rule is to be kind; trolls will be spayed or neutered.
It was a funeral. A time  to celebrate the life  of a well respected, well liked, well loved friend. There were heartfelt kind words said, stories told. To the casual observer nothing would seem amiss, but to some there that day the chasm between the world of the disabled and non-disabled could not be more apparent.

“He was the least disabled guy I knew”. “He was so full of life you forgot about his disability.” “He never acted disabled”. Innocuous words. Or are they? Let me employ a slight paradigm shift here - Do you think it possible to see yourself eulogizing a friend by suggesting they were the least black person you ever knew? Would you say your friend never acted Jewish, so you never really remembered they were Jewish? No you would not. In the world of disability, the disability describes the person. The label defines the perception and the reaction from people in general. To a person with a disability, to the family of a person with a disability, it is clear the non disabled population, at times, simply does not get it. This is the last battlefield for civil rights. The largest minority in America has the most diverse and least heard voice. I always find it amazing how often people fail to realize this minority group  doesn’t cater to age, sex, gender, race, or social status. You can be born into it or you can fall off your polo pony and become a member. In the space of a heartbeat, lives have been forever altered--truly amazing so few really understand that concept. Until of course it happens to them or someone close to them.

 In a world sensitive to race and gender issues, this minority group is still stigmatized, so much so that many people refuse to accept disability programs. Many associate the pictures of Jerry’s kids or polio poster children on crutches, with the way that people with disabilities are often treated. They remember the posters and they remember the pity they felt for those children. Some people in the disabled community call it the Tiny Tim syndrome; no one wants to be pitied. It is a fundamental right of a human to have a place in society to feel accepted and productive, to have meaning in their life.

The  effort to better the lives of people with disabilities living in America has been going on for a couple of centuries. Yes, I said that - a couple of centuries.  In the early 1800’s the first school for the deaf was established, giving rise to the notion that the non-hearing could be productive members of society if given proper training. Later, schools for  young men with mild intelligence disorders were established, again proving with help society could make room for those labeled as different. There are sad and highly disturbing  pieces of disability history - the spread of eugenics and of course institutions that were more like warehouses to keep disabled people with "their kind" and away from the public. The disgusting ugly laws created to keep people with disfiguring disabilities out of sight as to not upset the general population with their “deformities”.  Despite the long and sad chapters of ill treatment there were numerous progressive moments - Samuel Gridley Howe, Helen Keller, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Kennedy family and so many others pushed forward the belief that it was only right for everyone to have a place in society. This diary does not make light of their efforts by not going into depth about their contributions; their contributions were many and made an enormous difference in lives of thousands. I've chosen to begin at a time in history when civil rights were at the forefront of American culture, when organized groups began to fight for the equal liberties, equal justice and equal opportunity under the law.

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Here it is! Your chance to win a beautiful hand crafted quilt, help a terrific Democrat win a Kentucky senator seat, keeping it away from Rand Paul and--best of all a chance to give Mitch Mconnell a new source of aggravation--A Democrat in the congressional delegation from Kentucky!

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An Introduction to the History of the Disability Movement

KosAbility is a community diary series posted at 5 PM ET every Sunday and Wednesday by volunteer diarists. This is a gathering place for people who are living with disabilities, who love someone with a disability, or who want to know more about the issues surrounding this topic.  There are two parts to each diary.  First, a volunteer diarist will offer their specific knowledge and insight about a topic they know intimately. Then, readers are invited to comment on what they've read and/or ask general questions about disabilities, share something they've learned, tell bad jokes, post photos, or rage about the unfairness of their situation. Our only rule is to be kind; trolls will be spayed or neutered.

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Parenting a child with a disability has been the most incredible journey I could ever imagine. Tears, joy, frustration, triumph, good days, bad days; I’ve been there. My life changed through the most extraordinary human I’ve ever known, my daughter Chelsea. Parents usually shape their children but in our case, Chelsea has shaped me. She has been my teacher and my inspiration. It is because of her I joined the disability movement, it is for her I remain an active voice for equality for all.

KosAbility  is a community diary series posted at 5 PM ET every Sunday and Wednesday by volunteer diarists. This is a gathering place for people who are living with disabilities, who love someone with a disability, or who want to know more about the issues surrounding this topic.  There are two parts to each diary.  First, a volunteer diarist will offer their specific knowledge and insight about a topic they know intimately. Then, readers are invited to comment on what they've read and or ask general questions about disabilities, share something they've learned, tell bad jokes, post photos, or rage about the unfairness of their situation. Our only rule is to be kind; trolls will be spayed or neutered.

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Some of the cousins across the pond aren't exactly embracing our loathing and deep disgust with all things BP.

According to one pundit in the UK, our bashing of BP could easily lead to pensioners losing their monthly support money. And he waggles a verbal finger at us, insisting we should remember a similar 1988 disaster that occurred in the North Sea.

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Rick Perry has lost his mind. He's gone off the rails, off the ranch, off his rocker, something. How else does one explain Perry joining hands with Newt Gingrich and announcing to the world, Texas, the state with the most uninsured Americans--Needs to lead health care reform.

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As if we needed more proof of Rick Perry’s inability to govern, comes news that the food stamp program in Texas is broken.

Come on down and I'll share a some more of Guv Good Hair's latest epic failure with you..

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