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Posted: Mon, 11/23/2015 - 06:58 | The New Normal

Editor's Note: In honor of Thanksgiving, we asked our "New Normal" contributors to reflect on the intersection of gratitude and disability. We'd love to hear what you are thankful for in the comments below! Read part one here.

When raising a child who has autism, a sleep disorder, and all of the other diagnoses that come as a result, I often hear, "I don't know how you do it." The simplest answer is that we all do what we need to do. This is our life; it is the only life we know. And even though it is extremely challenging at times, we love our son unconditionally and we do what we need to do to give him what he needs.

Posted: Mon, 11/23/2015 - 06:48 | The New Normal

Editor's Note: In honor of Thanksgiving, we asked our "New Normal" contributors to reflect on the intersection of gratitude and disability. We'd love to hear what you are thankful for in the comments below!

When I thought about the question, what I am grateful/thankful for, the answer came to me very quickly.  I am grateful that my parents, my family and my friends constantly reinforced the notion “to keep trying.”  

Posted: Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:19 | The New Normal

Inclusion is a mindset. Inclusion means always thinking about who might be feeling “on the outside” and bringing them to “the inside” for meaningful engagement, contribution and belonging.  I believe this definition is consistent with the Torah’s direct and indirect inclusion messages.

Posted: Tue, 11/10/2015 - 09:21 | The New Normal

Editor's Note: Thanks to Lisa Friedman and Matan for sharing this blog, which originally appeared on the Matan web site.

In our Matan Institutes we work with Jewish Educators to guide them in including children of all abilities in Jewish education, offering concrete teaching tools for reaching every student and empowering them to make lasting change in their schools and communities. One of the things we discuss at length is the critical need for strong partnerships between parents and the school.

Educators and classroom teachers can often get “stuck” on the various ways that parents challenge them and they typically want specific pointers on how to handle difficult conversations with parents.

Posted: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 07:21 | The New Normal

More than 550 activists in the field of inclusion for people with disabilities from around the world came together for the Ruderman Family Foundation’s first-ever international Inclusion Summit, which took place in Boston on November 1st and 2nd.

Posted: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 16:03 | The New Normal

“We’ve come so far as a country since passage of the Americans with Disability Act. However, the work is far from over. Economic self-sufficiency, that's the bone in my throat. That's the thing that we just haven't really accomplished," former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat of Iowa, told over 500 leaders in disability inclusion Sunday night November 1st at the inaugural 2015 Ruderman Inclusion Summit.

At the Summit, the Foundation honored Senator Harkin with the Morton E. Ruderman Award for his lifelong dedication to disability inclusion, including his steadfast work on the historic ADA bill. As part of the award, a $100,000 donation will be made to the Harkin Institute of Public Policy at Citizen Engagement at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa to help further tackle the most pressing issues facing those with disabilities.