Sunday, January 23, 2011

Come on in...the water's fine!

Come on over to join me at!

I logged in to post today and when I saw the home page, I said, "Wow, that's a pretty page!", before remembering that it was mine. Far better than the alternative, I guess.

Stay warm, all.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Moving in cyberspace

My husband says I make decisions for unusual reasons. For example, I buy cars based on color and naming potential (my current Subaru is named Roz)

Now, I am moving to a new blog space, because I can use a more interesting (and, I hope, more memorable) name. Please come join me at

I'll be checking in here for a while longer.

Friday, January 7, 2011

He's not heavy; he's my friend

A great story of a win-win-win situation. A little boy named Sam, who has cerebral palsy, lives with his family in a two-story house. His father used to carry him upstairs to bed every night, until his dad had heart surgery. The family reached out to a local high school for help, and a co-captain of the team, Rudy Favard, comes to Sam's house several nights a week to carry him upstairs.

Sam and his family have help, Rudy has the appreciation and affection of Sam's family, and both young men have a new friend. Priceless.

Photo by the Boston Globe. Also check out the video on (World News)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye and hello

This is Walt Katovitch, my father in law (the shadow in the foreground is my husband), who died this week at the age of 88. He ailed very little until the last six months, when both his physical and cognitive health took a sharp decline. We were tremendously grateful for the help of assisted living and caring friends nearby, as we are on different ends of the same coast and couldn't see to his day to day needs.
I don't think Walt ever hesitated to enter a conversation with anyone; he was the kind of guy who could have chatted up the Queen and the man polishing the Royal silver with the same ease. We'll miss him.
As the new year begins, I'm going to begin some new adventures on my quest to learn more about how to ally with people with developmental disabilities. I'll be taking Disability and Higher Education with Dr. Wendy Harbour at Syracuse University and I've been selected to participate in Partners in Policymaking (, a national training program in leadership and advocacy open to people with developmental disabilities, their families, and allies. I'll keep you posted.
Enjoy the fun and refreshment of the New Year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

And who could have predicted...

Looking at the rough surroundings, who would have thought that a seed could sprout here? And not only sprout, but grow leaves? Now, is it the same size it would have been in more fruitful soil, with less wind, in better company? No. But there is growth nevertheless.

When reading and writing about education, I hear much talk about "benefit"- what is the benefit versus the risk of this decision, which students will benefit from a program for the gifted, what was the student's score on the ability to benefit test?

I believe that we cannot judge benefit in advance; benefit can only be judged after action has been taken.

I recently read a study discussing the benefits of an Ivy League education on different groups of students. The group with the greatest benefit? Students from socio-economically disadvantaged families. The students who came in with the fewest advantages got the most from the experience? Go figure.

Why, then, are there questions about the benefit students with developmental disabilities may gain from postsecondary education? These students have so much to gain. What good could they bring to the world if they are allowed to bloom?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl is one of my favorite works, because of his insights on the meaning of life. His search was severely tested in the brutality of Nazi concentration camps and the murder of his parents and young wife. In these desperate and barbaric circumstances, he maintained his sanity and the sanity of many fellow prisoners by emphasizing that life had meaning and the individual had control, even just of his own attitude towards the presence of suffering.

Much later, he spoke to a group of young activists (see clip below) on the necessity of idealism if we are ever to reach or to help others reach full potential. He saw more danger in underestimating people than in overestimating. What a great soul; his lessons never get old.

This post is for Eliza and other people who are pursuing their dreams.

Viktor Frankl: Why to believe in others Video on

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eliza's University Experience: Letter of Support from Diana M. Katovitch, M.S. au...

A discouraging story and a sign of how much further we have to go... the ARC of the United States also published this story in their blog.

I felt compelled to write, both to the university and to Eliza and her parents, to let them know that postsecondary education for students with developmental disabilities is already here. It reminds me of the old stagecoach story...

A stagecoach becomes stuck on a muddy hill while traveling through the frontier. The driver says to the passengers,
"All you who're goin' with us, get out and push. All those who ain't, get out of the way!"

Are we going or getting out of the way?

Eliza's University Experience: Letter of Support from Diana M. Katovitch, M.S. au...