In 1970 the Pilot Parent movement started in Omaha Nebraska.
The mother of a child who had a diagnosis of Down Syndrome created a 1:1 peer mentoring program for parents raising children with Down Syndrome. In 1974 awareness of this program quickly spread there was a need for more inclusivity within the disability community and so they started to mentor all parents raising a special needs child. Along with 1:1 mentoring this organization teaches parents how to advocate and legislate for their special needs child.
In 1979 a branch opened in Southern Arizona. Since then they have taught 20 groups of parents how to be advocates within their communities.
This year I am honored to be a member of the 21st class.
During the next 8 months, I will be blogging about the speakers and the lessons that are learned in the classes. They will be broken up into segments so that readers can take their time absorbing the information. I don’t want to hit you with 8 hours of lecture material in one sitting. J
So sit back, read, learn, engage, and challenge yourself to change any perceptions you had of people with disabilities, inclusive communities, and legislation.
My hope is that we learn and grow together throughout the year and that this blog can serve as an amplification of the Pilot Parent Project and that together we can create a ripple effect that can change the world.
Please share this blog series with others who might be interested in learning more about building inclusive communities.