Lunch: From Darkness to Light: Helping The Beautiful Girls Lead Beautiful Lives
How do we help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live lives with meaning, dignity, and respect, fulfilling their innate potential? How can we ensure that all people live in freedom, rather than hidden from the world? Rachel Simon’s novel, The Story of Beautiful Girl, illustrates these themes. Using original artwork, family photos, and archival photos, Rachel will discuss our shared history, her personal history, and how we can all make a difference. This talk touches on many issues familiar to those in the disability community: the abuse and dehumanizing conditions in the institution, the advent of deinstitutionalization, and the value of dedicated Direct Support Professionals, who work to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. Rachel also weaves in issues such as the right to community living, romance, self-expression, spirituality, and independence.