Monday, April 09, 2007

Feature: Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Bridging the gap between "them" and "us"

Writing a story on how better to bridge the gap between us and persons with developmental disabilities proved to be an enriching and fruitful exercise.

For one, I got to hear plenty of anecdotes.

Touching stories like these, which I featured in the story:

"In 1983 a newspaper featured a small story on a day program for people with developmental disabilities.

Bonnie Mahan, who worked with the day program at the time, read the story aloud to some of her higher functioning residents, since
many of them were featured in photographs accompanying the article.

The first reaction she got from one of her listeners was a troubled, "Why does the man in the paper keep saying I am mentally retarded?"

"It was so difficult and heartbreaking to explain to that young lady, what that writer meant," Mahan recalls of
that day.

Click here to read the story in text format.

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