Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Teaching People to Stand Up for Themselves

Quote of the day goes to David Swallow, a recent graduate of a program in Texas designed to help people with developmental disabilities learn advocacy and leadership skills: "People tell you you can't do anything, but I have proved them wrong every time."

FORT WORTH, Texas -- David Swallow has been called retarded all of his life.
"I hate that word," said Swallow, 54, of Fort Worth.
But instead of dwelling on negative stereotypes, he has tried to educate others, including lawmakers, about more positive alternatives. This year, he pushed for a bill that would ban the word from state statutes.
"People tell you that you can’t do anything, but I have proved them wrong every time," he said. "I have a car, I pay insurance, I drive, I’m my mother’s caregiver, and I am contributing to the community."
Swallow is among the first graduates of a new project designed to teach people with developmental and intellectual disabilities how to stand up for themselves

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