'Understanding Difference' Countdown
10/23/2013 - 10:22
Monday, October 28, 7:30 PM
Monday, October 28, 7:30 PM

We posted here earlier about an important upcoming event  -- it's "Understanding Difference," a public discussion about disability in the Jewish community.

It's happening in just a few days, on Monday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and we really hope to see you there.

Our speakers will be Eustacia Cutler, the mother of animal behaviorist and bestselling author and autism activist Temple Grandin; Susan Nussbaum, a disability rights activist, playwright and novelist, the author most recently of "Good Kings Bad Kings" and Dr. Nancy Crown, a clinical psychologist and mother of an adult on the autism spectrum who co-founded and co-chairs Congregation Rodeph Shalom's Special Needs Committee.

We here at the New Normal: Blogging Disability, believe fervently in the power of conversation to foster a community that includes all of us. This event is an expression of that belief.

We'll also be "live Tweeting" the event using the hashtag #UnderDiff, so if you follow Twitter and can't make it to the event, please join us virtually.

The evening is a joint project of the Jewish Week and the Ruderman Family Foundation, supported by UJA Federation of New York and co-sponsored by Congregation Rodeph Sholom.

Attached is a flyer with more details. I hope to see you and your friends, colleagues and family there.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions by commenting here or through Facebook or our Twitter feed.

Helen Chernikoff is the Jewish Week's web director and the editor of the New Normal.


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Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're going to have a conversation and your main panelists are three people, none of which have a disability themselves?

One important element to be mindful of when having a dialogue about disability is to include people with disabilities in the dialogue. There's a mantra 'Nothing About Us Without Us.' This speaks to respecting the voices of the disabled and valuing them in the dialogue and discussion about issues that directly impact them. Talking about inclusion from above can undercut the good intentions by being perceived as paternalistic. It's something to keep in mind as you do this important work and have this important conversation.

Hello there -- we agree with you and are mindful of this; it was definitely part of our thought process as we put the program together. We feel we arrived at a nice balance in parents of children who have disabilities who also have professional expertise in the subject of inclusion; we are also most exicted about the participation in the panel of a true artist -- a playwright and acclaimed novelist who is also a community organizer and does this work from a wheelchair.