In a fateful discussion I'll never forget, one of my employees raised the question of whether I had considered employing developmentally disabled workers to take on key roles in the production process.
Somewhere out there -- right now -- is a parent who just heard something she didn't like. Someone who loves or works with her child suggested her precious, perfect baby may have a form of autism spectrum disorder.
Autism Awareness month is here again. Puzzle pieces will be scattered everywhere to remind us of an unknown future for those whose world is somewhat different than most, and on April 2, the world will turn a lighter shade of blue.
I'm not laughing. In fact, I'm fuming. A developmentally disabled 42 year old man named Robert Schiavelli was slapped with two court summonses for laughing too loudly, because his neighbor Daniel O'Hanian complained to the police that Schiavelli was "disturbing the peace." Why was he laughing?
Lisa grabs a big handful of packaged tights from the back room and then heads out to the sales floor. She knows exactly what to do and how to do it, because she has worked at Banana Republic now for 15 years. Lisa has Down Syndrome.
A park surrounds the municipal pool where Guy works, so it's easy for him to take his daily count of his favorite bird while he works site maintenance. Guy does all the stuff here that the full-timers rarely have time to do.
One in 10 Americans has a personal connection to developmental disability. My connection is my wonderful brother-in-law Paul Boyle who is probably reading this with a frown on his face because he doesn't like the term "developmental disability" either.
Institutionalized for most of his life, Edwin longed for the opportunity to live in the community -- and 15 years ago he got that chance when he was matched with his Mentor, Dawna, through The MENTOR Network's Host Home program in New Jersey.
My brother Kevin is developmentally and physically disabled because of brain damage he had suffered from child abuse. He is the kind of person Republicans would leave by the side of the road in order to "protect tax loopholes for CEOs who fly corporate jets."
Last month both the Assembly and state Senate unanimously passed groundbreaking bipartisan legislation that will put New York at the forefront of a nationwide effort to provide health insurance coverage for people with autism.