“We have a lot of fun together, you know, for someone whose non-verbal he certainly knows how to express his emotions.”
Graynle Edwards, PhD, talking about his son Graynle Jr.
Graynle Edwards, PhD has a long and distinguished career as an educator. As a parent of a son with an Intellectual Disability, however, Dr. Edwards has had to transcend his role as teacher and become a student of sorts. For more than fifty years, Dr. Edwards has learned to navigate systems, influence policy, and find ways to include his son in the community. He has also gained valuable insights into the types of supports that families, particularly fathers, need today.
We’re very pleased to include our conversation with Dr. Graynle Edwards in the Visionary Voices collection.
Story features some terrific photos of our cast and creative team. http://temple-news.com/living/51415/
The Institute on Disabilities is seeking two sibling pairs to help further the development of its play, A Fierce Kind of Love.
March 10 and 11, 2014
Temple University, Main Campus
10am – 4pm
The Institute on Disabilities is using public performance to tell the story of Pennsylvania’s Intellectual Disability Rights Movement. Its play, A Fierce Kind of Love will bring this rich history to diverse audiences in Philadelphia in the Fall of 2015.
“My future… hasn’t been written yet. I’m the one who has to write it…not the outside world, not organizations. It has to come from me.”
Actor and self-advocate Larry Kubey has always been immersed in the arts. The son of classically trained musicians, Larry is extremely knowledgeable about music and performance. He also loves film; before our interview Larry and I had a great time chatting about our favorite Beatles’ movies. But finding work in the community that mirrors his passion for the arts (and for life) has been more elusive.
In this interview, Larry talks about the inequities of sheltered workshops, and his vision for the meaningful employment of people with disabilities. The future, he believes, is ours to write. We couldn’t agree more.
The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University has been awarded $50,000 for its play “A Fierce Kind of Love” from the William Penn Foundation. In its announcement in November, the Foundation approved a “special grant” to the Institute on Disabilities to support the continued development of the work.
“Someone once told me, and I think it’s true, that when you face the fact that you have a child who had disabled; first it’s denial. No, no. This can’t be. And then secondly it’s acceptance. And then it’s, well what do I do? Now what do I do? And then fourth, well what can I do to help others in this position?
Parent/advocate Charlotte Twadell has spent over 50 years advocating for her daughter Beverly, and for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. We hope you’ll be as inspired by her story as we are!
With these words, the writer Kristin Hunter asks us to consider the wealth of experiences that form the bedrock of our communities. As 2013 drew to a close, the Visionary Voices project had recorded 57 stories of those who led Pennsylvania’s Intellectual Disability Rights Movement. So many compelling stories. So many more to capture.
As we begin a new year, we look forward to sharing more of our work, and expanding our interviews to include siblings stories and the stories of those who have personally experienced institutionalization. We will continue to preserve personal papers collections that lend insight to the Movement, and will engage the public in the history of the Movement through the continued development of our play, A Fierce Kind of Love.
In the coming weeks, look for new interviews with parent/advocates Charlotte Twadell and Graynle Edwards, PhD, siblings Soeren Palumbo and Jackie and Sami Csaniz, advocates Marsha Blanco and Chuck Peters, and self-advocates Karen Hayes and Larry Kubey.
Every one of us is indeed a wonder. Everyone one of us has a story. And every story is a gift.
May your New Year be filled with wonderful stories!