Monday, April 15, 2013
This video tells the story of second-grader Penelope, and what it means for her as a student with disabilities to be fully included at Willard Elementary School.
This is a story about a 2nd grade student with disabilities, Penelope, who is fully included into her home school of Willard Elementary School in Evanston, Illinois. In this piece, Matt and Megan Lassman discuss what they went through as parents to get to this place. Including Penelope full time with her classmates shows that the benefits are two way. Integrating her with her peers allows for improved understanding, tolerance, patience and the possibility for friendship beyond what some might have thought possible. Please watch, comment and share. www.pepsiwithbrigid.com
Sunday, May 20, 2012
By law, gas stations are required to pump gas for drivers with disabilities (15 million) when there is more than one employee on duty. In this story, Brigid drives with Paralympic athlete Linda Mastandrea to experience firsthand the barriers Linda faces
Please meet Linda Mastandrea, attorney, author and athlete who has won 15 gold and five Silver medals in wheelchair track. By every standard, Linda is an accomplished person. And yet…like 15 million other Americans with disabilities, Linda finds it to be a challenge every time she gets gas at the pump. While gas stations are everywhere - there were 159,000 retail fueling stations in 2010 – gas station access is almost nowhere for drivers with disabilities. This, despite the fact that there has been a law in place for more than 21 years requiring refueling assistance at the pump for drivers with disabilities. For those who were wounded fighting our wars, for our parents needing assistance, for our children injured playing sports, buying …
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Seven years ago, the Lassmans daughter Penelope was born with multiple disabilities and there began a wild road of navigating the world anew. In this video — part of a new Patch series by Patrick and Brigid Hughes — the Lassmans discuss their experiences.
Each week, my mom, Brigid, and I post stories about how disabilities impact people's lives. We look at how businesses work to make their buildings and practices more inclusive and we also look at things many people think about but might be afraid to talk about. Our hope is that these video stimulate conversation, so please leave your thoughts in the comments below. This week, please meet the Lassmans. I met Matt Lassman about 20 years ago and we have stayed in touch over the years. Seven years ago, when their first daughter Penelope was born, they began a new journey into the world of disability and they have invited me into their lives. In this video they talk with Brigid about what happened when Penelope was born, the shock, the …
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
A year after Evanston/Skokie's consolidated district started bringing more special-needs students into regular classrooms, elementary schools are seeing higher achievement among kids and higher stress among teachers.
When special-education teacher Shannon Gibert strikes the wind chime, the kindergarteners stop chattering and join their hands to make little rooftops above their heads. Most are sitting cross-legged on a bright blue mat at the front of the classroom, each little rump in an individual square while Ms. Gibert teaches the class about money. "A penny is brown, a nickel is smooth," she sings, and the students chime in. She calls on individuals to identify different coins and their corresponding values. When a student answers correctly, "Ms. G." touches her fingertips to her lips, then to her head, telling the child to "Kiss your brain." Among the 5- and 6-year-olds in this Dawes Elementary School kindergarten class, two readily stick out – …