My focus on the needs of the developmentally disabled community and special needs concerns began due to one person in mind : my brother Elias.
Why: Everyone has a whole world wrapped up in them- thats what needs to be emphasized. Individuals with disabilities have age appropriate desires - desire to have a significant other, desire to be fashionable and the desire to interact meaningfully with their peers. These desires for what a lot of us take for granted is almost easy to fulfill - raise awareness and increase the visibility of those with disabilities and when you encounter someone with disabilities do your best to recognize the plurality of their personality and their individuality.
About Elias: My brother has autism, cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. I have felt for a long time that I wanted to do something that brought to light that more people are affected by disabilities of various types than people tend to be aware of. The fact that it is not just the individuals with disabilities, but their families , carers, teachers, and friends who are constantly dealing with an unfair amount of obstacles to leading life with ease and dignity. Not to say there are not great and amazing times, but let me tell you - interacting with large institutions to try to get just the basic amount of services and care given to the individual in you life is a difficult experience faced by my family and many others daily. Hopefully the importance of special needs advocacy in NYC for our loved ones is clear and if you are interested in learning more about what you can do or resources available please check out some of my blog posts and find the 'Disability Resources NYC' page on the menu (under construction- page coming soon!) .