Thursday, April 02, 2015

Faces of Ability RicStar's Camp

Registration ongoing for the 13th annual Eric 'RicStar' Winter Music Therapy Camp. Aka: RicStar's Camp. Scholarships available. More info here.

Erik Taylor Photography

Honoring World Autism Awareness Day 2015

Logo courtesy of Autism Speaks

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Steve Harvey "Sister O'dell" Controversy



RicStar's Camp participant. Focused on ability. Erik Taylor Photography.

Read my take on Steve Harvey's recent poor comic judgement targeting those with special needs, here.

Maya Angelou said, "When you know better, you do better." 

You can do better with your celebrity, media status and talent.

Right, Steve?


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Registration for 13th Annual Eric 'RicStar' Winter Music Therapy Camp Now Open




Registration for the 13th annual RicStar's Camp, which celebrates the individual abilities of people of all ages with a wide range of exceptionalities, is now open for all returning campers.

Registration for new campers will begin March 1st.

Don't delay! Camp is often full. 

Scholarships are available.

More info, including downloadable registration form, here. Music changes lives. 

So does RicStar's Camp.

Focused on ability, friendship and fun.

Amy Purdy to Chat with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday Feb 22nd.



Paralympian, author, dancer and all around terrific example and activist, Amy Purdy, will appear on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday program this Sunday, February 22nd, on the OWN network.

Should be worth the view and the wisdom.

Can you tell I'm a Purdy fan?

I'm a fan of Oprah and the OWN programs, too.

Find our more here.  Sneak peaks. :)



Visit my Facebook Page



Reminder: there are lots of new posts and links at my professional Facebook page, It's updated more frequently that this blog and includes more posts that I think you don't want to miss. :)

Check it all out, here.

Purchase Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs



Special note regarding purchase of my book, Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations.

Amazon.com ( the direct link on this page) is currently out of stock of my title and awaiting more books. 

But you can still buy Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs at all other major booksellers, including Barnes and Noble and places like Target and Wal Mart and independent booksellers, which I also love supporting.

Hopefully, Amazon will be restocked soon.

Kate Middleton Talks Mental Health Issues


Kate Middleton takes on the big topic of children's mental health and gets the valuable conversation going.

Let's help her keep it alive.

Watch/Read here. 




The BBC asks, "Is it OK to call disabled people 'Inspirational?'

Yeah. That's the real headline of a BBC article getting press today. 

Can't let this one go.

It comes after many recent Super Bowl commercials and recent press that have highlighted or are highlighting the successes of those with exceptionalities, including Jamie Brewer, actress and activist and the first person with Down syndrome to walk the NYC Fashion Week runway.

That's a big deal.

Here's my take. I'll be brief.

Personally, I think we're getting caught up in semantics here and wasting valuable chat time when there are much bigger special needs topics to fry and discuss, like education, insurance, respite, employment, etc.

Plus, the word inspirational sure beats many of the ugly terms many with special needs have been slammed with over history and still today, words like retarded, spastic, insane, stupid, brain dead, etc.

I'm thrilled we're finally including people with exceptionalities in our daily conversations and in the major media, and on the runway. If the stories told inspire others, that's cool, too. 

Many special needs families are desperate for positive examples for their own children. History books need to include more such stories, too.

Long overdue.

That said, I do wish the media would do a better job with people-first language.

Note the "disabled people" headline used by the BBC. They aren't alone in that editorial snafu.

Use people's names, please. Stop defining people by disability before the story even gets out of the equality gate. 

It does change perceptions about ability.

Disability is a part of someone's reality and life. It should never be the defining term.

Read the full article here.

What's your take on the "inspirational" discussion?



Monday, February 09, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS, PHARRELL WILLIAMS!


In honor of that terrific GRAMMY win by Pharrell Williams last night, this one deserves another look.

Your song sure made everyone at RicStar's Camp HAPPY!!!

Get HAPPY here. 


Friday, January 16, 2015

You can find my book at all major booksellers, including here.






Staying in Touch

Reminder that you can now view more frequent special needs posts on my professional Facebook page.

You can also follow me on Twitter.

You can find out more about my book and my special needs mission on my website.



















Annual Day of Service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is Monday, January 19th.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

How will you serve?


More information here.



Words of Wisdom from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

Raise your voices whenever needed.





Logo courtesy of Abilities Expo

International Day of Acceptance 

Spread the word!

International Day of Acceptance is next Tuesday, January 20th.

It's a time to create greater awareness of the importance of embracing people of ALL abilities, including those with exceptionalities.

Reality is we need to stop leaving people with disabilities out of important conversations about diversity and equal rights, too.

You can learn more about this special day and share your own stories here.

And how about we practice this kind of acceptance all year long, too?

Equality for ALL.



Super Sibs

Those super sibs Hunter and Braden Gandee are at it again.

You may remember the Michigan siblings first captured our hearts and attention when Hunter carried his younger brother with cerebral palsy, Braden, on his back on a 40-mile cross-state walk to create greater awareness for cerebral palsy.

This time, it's about the chance to play sports like every other kid.

The short video is well worth the view and the lessons learned.

Ours.

Out of the mouths of babes.

Watch here.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014



Judy Winter Holiday Images 2014
Judy Winter Special Needs Holiday Tips

Here's a link to my Facebook page and a video with a few of my key Holiday Tips for families of children with special needs.

An early gift to you from me. :)

'Tis the season to share and care, right? :)

Happy Holiday Prep!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


Faces of Ability-RicStar's Camp

One of my favs from the award-winning RicStar's Camp, of which I am co founder/chair. 

Our focus is always on what campers of all ages with a wide range of exceptionalities CAN do.


Never on what they can't do.

Yeah. It's that cool, and life changing.

Music changes lives.


Photo Erik Taylor Photography





WARNING: Shameless self promotion :)

Consider giving my book as a gift to your child's team members and family members this holiday season.

Help them have a greater appreciation for and awareness of your child's and your parenting challenges.

Lots of great resources and success stories and parenting tips included to help you take your parenting and advocacy to a whole new level.

Find Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs here and all major and most independent booksellers.


Judy Winter Holiday Images 2014




Update

Lots of new posts on my Facebook page, where I post much more frequently.

Check it out.

And Happy Holidays, however you celebrate!