Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Amazing Stories From Mexico and Mobilize Mankind

Jose, Roberto and Osmara are 3 very special examples of incredible human spirit. Saturday morning I spent 40 minutes visiting with Greg and Gayle Edwards and hearing them share stories of two very special disabled children and one young man for No Limits to Learning Live which is now on archive to listen to on this blog sidebar. Link to the episode here.

Jose is a super-intelligent boy locked in a disabled body. He has CP and is finally in a power chair donated to Mobilize Mankind, who transported it and other chairs in a U-Haul trailer to Baja, Mexico. Jose has the ability to be independent now and has a computer with Boardmaker Speaking Dynamically Pro. He is the first disabled student in the state of Baja to be allowed to go to regular school and not a special education self contained program when entering upper grades. He has been appointed a shadow teacher to help him. He has some AT and the state is watching him as a pilot project to see what happens.

Osmara is a little girl who was not able to do anything when the Edwards' first started working to provide volunteers to bring services to her. She could only react to a spring-loaded tape measure and push the button to watch it snap back in the case. She also only was laying down. Now, 10 years later, after a power chair and OT and PT , she is now zooming around school, communicating and in regular classes. She needs accessibility software like Kurzweill 3000 (both she and Jose do) and she is asking when she will get a laptop to help her with school. She has made huge strides.

Roberto is 28 years, and 9 years ago he was in a car accident. He was left a quad in bed for 7 years. He could manage to be out of bed for 3 hours a day and worked on painting. He has done incredible paintings in spite of his disability. He was given a power chair and wore out the battery on his second day going to see all his neighbors and be independent. The goal is to assist him to be able to be an active artist as a profession.

Mobilize Mankind would like to share the progress of these 2 children and this young man with all of us this next school year, spotlighting different updates and sending video and images to put up on the blog. I am thrilled to begin to work on this project with the Edwards and we are looking at some time after October when they get donated equipment down there again and have time to settle into a routine with the school year and get images, video, etc.

They are always looking for special education teachers, AT specialists, OT's, PT's and SLP's, vision and hearing specialists, etc. who would like to spend a week in Cabo San Lucas going around to work with students. You can contact them at: Mobilize Mankind. Also, they asked me to share their phone (541) 514-9366 and email: mobilizemankind@yahoo.com

The Edwards' also shared about a unique park that has been designed with play equipment especially for children with disabilities. If used properly, it also provides therapeutic training and exercise for kids. I would highly recommend listening to this segment. You will be inspired by the stories you hear!

All the best to you!


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