Welcome to my new blog! This blog has been set up to show you my new Disability Awareness designs, to discuss the stories behind them, and to allow you the opportunity to share what you would like to see available.
The first designs I made were to raise awareness of Down Syndrome, after my 2.5 year old daughter Samara was diagnosed with an extra 21st Chromosome at 4 weeks of age. At the time, I took the news pretty hard. Designing the t-shirts was, for me, a part of the healing process.
Having shared those first designs with a few people, I began to realise how hard it is for people to find things like this, that tell people the truth about our beautiful children, and give us the opportunity to let the world know how proud we are of them. Then, I had friends who have disabilities themselves who have told me that it's not only the parents of disabled kids who want to spread the word, but disabled adults as well.
Many of today's adults with disabilities grew up in a time when acceptance was even lower than it is now. Diversity amongst people was not something that was valued in the past. These adults have a voice. They want to be heard. And it is my mission to help them express that voice!
Something I am endeavouring to do, is to listen to all those out there who want to be heard. It is relatively easy to find awareness products if you or your child has Down Syndrome, Autism, or is in a wheelchair. But what about those with the likes of Ch18q-, Mitochondrial Disease, or one of many other rare conditions? In the past few weeks, I have had the priveledge of working with the mothers of children with these conditions. I have gotten to know a little of their stories, and I have learned about disabilities I had not heard of before. In working with these mothers, we have come up with designs that help them express their love of their children, and their desperation to see the world accept and love them for who they are.
To me, this has been the greatest experience of all. Because by reaching out to these people, I have had my own life enriched. If you have an idea for something you would like to see made, or if you want help in coming up with ideas to promote advocacy of the conditions that are near to your heart, feel free to use the comments section to let me know.
Also, in the comments section, I would love if you shared your story. All comments are moderated, and nothing nasty will be allowed to get through. This is a place I would love everyone to feel safe. A place, where one day in the future, as I get to know you, maybe I could have some of you guest blog your stories, so that we might support one another in our journeys.
Here is a picture of my little angel Samara wearing one of my t-shirt designs, and a DS inspired tutu for World Down Syndrome Day 2011