Special Needs Round-up: Joining forces peacefully

hayley GoleniowskaThis month the Round-up is going to take on a completely different format.

For never before have the disability and special needs bloggers, charities and journalists been so completely united by one, overwhelming subject.  It has taken sleep, unleashed emotions we had hidden, or overcome, aroused anger and pain. It has upset our children, and made a mockery of the struggles we face. It has questioned how far we really have come in the world of acceptance and inclusion.

‘It’ is Collin Brewer, the public face of today’s ill-informed, out-dated bigot. The kind that wants babies with disabilities ‘killed at birth’, ‘like deformed lambs’. The kind that equates the cost of an individual with a disability to how many public toilets he could keep open.

I am not a ranty, angry sort of campaigner. ‘Changing perception gently from within hearts’ is my strapline, which has been sorely tested these last few weeks, as Collin (2 lls) is my local Councillor. A man in the public eye, a man who represents the people, a man who is shaming Cornwall.

I first wrote to Collin Brewer back in April of this year when he first said that children with disabilities should be ‘put down’.  Of course he didn’t read the words of the local one who represented the thoughts of the families he attacked so callously.

Collin is a sick man, after several strokes, and what I would argue are the early signs of dementia, he is spouting nonsense. Those around him should have protected him and us by encouraging him to slope away. But no, he stood again and was miraculously re-elected (but not welcome) by a mere 335 people. That, some claim, is democracy.

Well, it scared us all.  Already smarting from the 92% termination rates for babies with Down’s Syndrome, we now face a man calling for their termination after birth.
Not a new idea Cllr Brewer, The Nazis got there before you.

I have done countless interviews and written endless letters, I even popped to No.10 Downing Street this week, but I felt I was getting no-where.

I decided that the pen was mightier than the sword. The word of top bloggers and journalists would drown out his vile, unloving bigotry.

We could show him, with our love, our integrity, our sensitivity, just how wrong he is.

I started a peaceful loving blog linky. I began asking friends and esteemed writers to join.  They all came forth, all writing with intelligence, casting the anger we all feel aside.  I cannot stop the tears reading them, for we, fellow bloggers, are a mighty force to be reckoned with. The eloquence with which we talk of the positive contribution individuals with disabilities make to society must be shared, and will I’m sure, take down the likes of Brewer. We know he is wrong and we can show it through our blogs.

Please craft your post and add it to the others here. Please also take the time to read the amazing, inspiring posts already submitted and comment to the writers, who have, in many cases bared their souls.

Let’s Pull Together and Celebrate Our Children

And please know that the Collin Brewers of the world are few and far between.

So very much love
Hayley xx
Downs Side Up

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About Hayley Goleniowska

A former language teacher and voice-over artist, Hayley is now the Mum of two gorgeous girls, the youngest of whom, Natty, has Down’s Syndrome. She blogs, speaks and writes articles on the subject for all who will read or listen. Through Downs Side Up she aims to both offer support and encouragement to new families with a diagnosis, and gently change perceptions of Down’s Syndrome from within hearts through beautiful words and photos. Her daughter Natty is a clothing model and an amazing ambassador for children with disabilities everywhere. She has appeared in The Sun, Mail Online, Bella Magazine and on ITV Daybreak. You can find Hayley on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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4 Responses to Special Needs Round-up: Joining forces peacefully

  1. Renata 18 May 2013 at 22:57 #

    A story has power, which is why we as humans have been relying on story telling throughout history. All these individual stories of family and love are far more powerful than anger, and far more powerful than bigotry x

  2. Ojo Henley 19 May 2013 at 14:18 #

    Excellent and eloquent, as usual. That goodness there are good people that stand up for those too small to stand up for themselves. x

    • Downs Side Up 21 May 2013 at 10:04 #

      I am so heartened by those joining the linky. The power in their posts is amazing x