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Keenan Wellar's Comments

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Father's Beautiful Journey With Son Who Has Down Syndrome Will Make Your Heart Soar

Father's Beautiful Journey With Son Who Has Down Syndrome Will Make Your Heart Soar

Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 12:54:49 in Parents

“At a time when the existence of people who have Down syndrome is vanishing from the earth due to continued misinformation about what it means for the individual and family, this is another important contribution to correcting the damage done by those who continue to perpetuate negative mythology. The point is not that "in spite of" Down syndrome Luca is a worth loving and being loved by...the point is, that's just a part of who he is, and if it wasn't for the negative mythology, the relationship between father and son would have been just as it is now, except he would not have fainted or waited years to realize it.”

unreality on Jan 28, 2014 at 12:02:03

“"...just a part of who he is." Well said!”
Illinois Gay Marriage Bill OKed In Committee, Advances To Full House Vote

Illinois Gay Marriage Bill OKed In Committee, Advances To Full House Vote

Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 02:24:19 in Chicago

“I don't often talk about being born in Illinois. Definitely a point of pride if it happens. Get 'er done! #samesexmarriage #ILove”
Ann Coulter Should Publicly Apologize For Saying 'Retard,' Change.org Petition Says

Ann Coulter Should Publicly Apologize For Saying 'Retard,' Change.org Petition Says

Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 23:37:03 in Impact

“You are completely wrong on this. When Obama made his Special Olympics bowling comment, he was called on it bigtime, and his response was very different: he listened to the explanation of why is was offensive and made what certainly appeared to be very genuine amends.

Coulter's insistence that when she calls someone a "retard" it is not an insult to people with intellectual disabilities is nothing less than "deliberate ignorance." She could choose to get informed and in the process do a great thing for millions of people.

This is not about Rebublican or Democrat or "word police." It's about decency.”
Mesquite High School Yearbooks Pulled After 'Mentally Retarded' Used To Describe Some Students

Mesquite High School Yearbooks Pulled After 'Mentally Retarded' Used To Describe Some Students

Commented May 22, 2012 at 00:26:26 in Education

“While the R-word is antiquated and people with intellectual disabilities are hugely in favor of its elimination, the real problem is the S-word: Special. The existence of Special Education is school-supported. It is how children learn to emphasize difference, the lesson being that people with disabilities belong in segregation from others. So, yes, stop saying "retarded" but that's just a symptom of the REAL problem, which is treating people with disabilities as pariahs in school settings, a lesson that is taken forward into adulthood as bigotry, ignorance, and fear.”

gr8bsn on May 22, 2012 at 01:10:50

“Your comment is lifted straight from the pages of the idealistic drivel that I was forced to read in graduate school. These were the droning of "experts" who never spent a day working in a classroom. You have no idea what special education is or how it actually works do you? Special education - part of IDEA - ensures that EVERY student receives an appropriate education. Without special ed, there are a number of students who would fall through the cracks and fail. Most students who are in special ed are not labeled, and are not even sent off to a separate room unless it's absolutely needed. They are in the regular classroom, often doing the same work. Special education makes sure that those who have special needs have the supports in place so that they are able to be SUCCESSFUL in school. My brother was classified has having a specific learning disability. He received special education services not only in high school, but also in college and has found great success in his adult life. Knowing his "label" allowed him to be his own advocate.”
Don't Just Talk About Diversity, Implement It

Don't Just Talk About Diversity, Implement It

Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 19:49:46 in Canada Politics

“Diversity experts can sometimes be exclusionary by forgetting to include people with disabilities, clearly one of the most marginalized populations, particularly in Canadian workplaces.”
Don't Just Talk About Diversity, Implement It

Don't Just Talk About Diversity, Implement It

Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 19:28:58 in Canada Politics

“Even diversity experts often lack diversity in their thinking. People with disabilities were not mentioned and yet they are by far one of the most marginalized populations, especially in the workplace.”
Nobody Wants To See Your Facebook Look Back Video

Nobody Wants To See Your Facebook Look Back Video

Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 00:21:50 in Technology

“I've probably watched more than 50 of them. It's clearly a wild success. Apply this rage more purposely, like towards any of 1000s of "games" that are pure garbage. Most people actually LIKE the look back videos!”
Science May Explain Why Your Friendships Fall Apart

Science May Explain Why Your Friendships Fall Apart

Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 22:00:29 in Science

“High school students might be a poor choice for this type of study. Good luck figuring out the ebb and flow of teenage emotions; trying to understand the impact of social media on those relationships is sheer folly. Check out 35 or 45 year-old social media users and that might indicate some different linkages.

There is a lot of research in the field of social capital that long ago established that there are limits on the number of close friends people have and it's not due to the inability to meet more people, but as this study also notes, because there are limits of time and emotional capacity.

What any of us who have invested significant time in social media can easily identify however is that whether or not we expand our close circle of friends because of social media, it can certainly help maintain and reinforce these relationships - perhaps not so much for teens, but as work, children, and other trappings of adulthood come into play, I daresay many a friendship would be lost or certainly less enjoyable without the additional connectedness that social media offers.

Lastly, while there may not be strong correlation between social media and close friendships (because of limits to those relationships which have always existed) there are many benefits to having lots of casual friendships and acquaintances that cross geographical boundaries and are based in shared interests and networks. You might not gain a new close but maybe you'll lead a movement!”
Why Getting LinkedIn Endorsements Doesn't Mean You're Special

Why Getting LinkedIn Endorsements Doesn't Mean You're Special

Commented Oct 4, 2013 at 16:35:55 in Canada Business

“I find the LinkedIn endorsements are a little bit of harmless fun in an otherwise somewhat stale environment. Anyone taking them too seriously probably needs some help in understanding the fundamentals of evaluation. The recommendations feature continues, and it is obvious that taking the time to write meaningful public recommendations carries more weight than clicking on a button. By the way, it is easy enough to turn off the recommendations feature. I am happy to have both features on my profile - if someone ends up endorsing me for something that I really don't think is appropriate, I can just remove it. But mostly it's just fun. If someone actually contacts me to help set up their nuclear reactor, I'll just be honest with them that I am not the best choice for the task.”
10 Smart Quotes From 'Innovation Uncensored' Conference

10 Smart Quotes From 'Innovation Uncensored' Conference

Commented Apr 24, 2013 at 23:29:55 in Technology

“See, now that's an interesting comment. Perhaps one can be intimate with the universe, but we aren't all Kardashians.”
10 Smart Quotes From 'Innovation Uncensored' Conference

10 Smart Quotes From 'Innovation Uncensored' Conference

Commented Apr 24, 2013 at 21:12:15 in Technology

“Perhaps it is a reflection on the chooser of the quotes rather than those quoted, but I wouldn't describe any of those listed as "insightful" or even particularly refreshing.”

DavidBeckwith on Apr 24, 2013 at 22:20:20

“I hope that is the case. If not, I fear we may be tweeting ourselves into insignificance.”
Midlife Ramblings: What I Don't Get About My Childless/Childfree Young Friends

Midlife Ramblings: What I Don't Get About My Childless/Childfree Young Friends

Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 01:25:07 in Fifty

“I think anyone who does not have children and is consumed with asking "Why would you want kids?!?" or anyone who has children and is consumed with asking "Why would you not want kids?!?" probably has some unresolved questions of their own.

My wife and I started a charitable organization together in our 20s and it is frequently assumed/stated over the years "We would make great parents!" Maybe, maybe not. But what we have done with our lives has impacted others (and us) in meaningful ways that many people (even parents) won't get to experience. We are at peace and fully accept that parenting is obviously one of the most intense experiences and relationships in life, and that it's not going to be one of our roles. It's OK, really. Enjoy! No jealousy here. But please, we just didn't want kids of our own, and can't really explain it any better than that, and don't feel there should be a need to.

There are actually plenty of kids in the world without families who would love to have one. Even at 55 years old if you suddenly realized not having children was the biggest mistake of your life, adopt a teen and save them from the system. It's just wonderful that some people want to make babies and love being parents. But it's not for everyone, and trying to sort out why some do and some don't is an exercise in futility.”
Lance Armstrong's Oprah Video Interview Provokes Little Sympathy (VIDEO, TWEETS)

Lance Armstrong's Oprah Video Interview Provokes Little Sympathy (VIDEO, TWEETS)

Commented Jan 27, 2013 at 00:26:41 in Canada

“Perhaps you did not see my entire post. If you dislike questions, this last half of my origional reply has very few question marks:

Those who benefit from the public eye owe a trust to the public eye,
whether they are athletes or politicians it does not matter. There is no
hope for humankind if we deem this acceptable. The greatest thing about
sports, in my opinion, is the opportunity to learn about how to play
hard but play fair, and how to achieve in cooperation with others. And
yes, winning - but only with honour. If sport is now going to be about
lying and cheating, we should just call it "The Lying And Cheating Bike
Race" and be done with it. Want to spike your own water bottle? Go
ahead! Sabotage your opponent? Sure! I am sure it would get terrific TV
ratings for those who really don't care about moral or ethical behavior
and prefer to celebrate the absence of honour.”
Lance Armstrong's Oprah Video Interview Provokes Little Sympathy (VIDEO, TWEETS)

Lance Armstrong's Oprah Video Interview Provokes Little Sympathy (VIDEO, TWEETS)

Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 11:08:15 in Canada

“You are amazed at the disappointment and anger with Lance Armstrong? What would be an appropriate reaction? "Way to go Lance! You cheated for years and years, which means clean athletes were cheated out of medals, money, and fame that rightfully belongs to them but they'll never have, and then you lied for years and years, attacking people that tried to hold you to account: well done, well done!" Do we celebrate this? Does it help improve the rest of civil society (including politics) if we say that lying and cheating in sport is just fine? I say no. Those who benefit from the public eye owe a trust to the public eye, whether they are athletes or politicians it does not matter. There is no hope for humankind if we deem this acceptable. The greatest thing about sports, in my opinion, is the opportunity to learn about how to play hard but play fair, and how to achieve in cooperation with others. And yes, winning - but only with honour. If sport is now going to be about lying and cheating, we should just call it "The Lying And Cheating Bike Race" and be done with it. Want to spike your own water bottle? Go ahead! Sabotage your opponent? Sure! I am sure it would get terrific TV ratings for those who really don't care about moral or ethical behavior and prefer to celebrate the absence of honour.”

Frank Ricketts on Jan 18, 2013 at 12:13:09

“Who are you mad at? Your reply has a pile of questions, but no answers. Nothing you write has anything to do with what I said when you read beyond my first sentence. Curb your emotions son and direct your anger where it matters.”
Anti-Abortion Article Sparks Ottawa School Trip Cancellation

Anti-Abortion Article Sparks Ottawa School Trip Cancellation

Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 20:28:45 in Canada Politics

“Indeed. The BNA Act is just an excuse for political inaction. There would be no significant federal opposition to brining Ontario into the 21st century.”
Anti-Abortion Article Sparks Ottawa School Trip Cancellation

Anti-Abortion Article Sparks Ottawa School Trip Cancellation

Commented Nov 3, 2012 at 01:54:26 in Canada Politics

“Yes. And since 1982, if a constitutional amendment affects only one province, the assent of Parliament and of that one province's legislature is all this is required. Parliament would not block such an amendment in Ontario.

There have in fact been 7 amendments passed this way since 1982, with four passed by Newfoundland and Labrador, and one each for New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. This formula is contained in section 43 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Citing the Consitution as a reason for being the only province where public tax dollars support religious education is nonsense. It's just an excuse for political inaction and an argument used exclusively by self-interested parties.”
Anti-Abortion Article Sparks Ottawa School Trip Cancellation

Anti-Abortion Article Sparks Ottawa School Trip Cancellation

Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 14:12:01 in Canada Politics

“It's days like this when it is embarassing to have an Ontario teaching certificate and to be an Ontario taxpayer. This is not acceptable.

Do not blame the BNA Act of 1867. Go and read the original. The contents of the Act have been changed countless times.”

Shanemedia on Nov 2, 2012 at 16:34:47

“You're right Keenan. In 1985, Conservative premier Bill Davis extended full funding to Catholic high schools and Ontario is the only remaining province to continue to do so.”
Charity Ratings Kill Innovation

Charity Ratings Kill Innovation

Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 14:34:49 in Impact

“Charity ratings from any source ignore the vast complexity of the sector. For some agencies, it is entirely appropriate that almost 100% of their funds go directly to paid staff. For others, it would be entirely inappropriate. Then we have the drive to eliminated "administrative costs" well guess what, you'd best be very concerned about a charity that has very low administrative costs, because strong accountability takes strong administration. Depending on the sector and funder, some agencies are required to conduct administrative tasks that they are not free to eliminate.

Foundations, social services, advocacy...all sorts of very different charities lumped into one sector and measured against each other makes no sense and it doesn't work. These oversimplifications ony serve to harm the sector by confusing the public and - for charitable organizations that react - the tail wagging the dog, in a sector that already struggles with how to please various funders while at the same time attempting to support the end beneficiary in the way that is best.”
huffingtonpost entry

My Child's Dream: To Have Friends

Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 00:46:20 in Parents

“First, you have to believe that there ARE people with and without disabilities who will value what your daughter has to offer - now, and for the future (yes, it will become more difficult, the teen years will be the hardest just like they are for most people, but the post-high-school years will be most difficult of all depending on whether or not your daughter has developed interests and relationships outside of the school environment). I know people will think it obvious and you may be saying "Well of course I believe that!" but many parents get so burned out from the experiences of the high school years, they start to doubt that there are other people in the world who will see their child as they do - and that is why many parents still opt for segregated programs and housing. Please believe and continue to believe - I see it every day. Live life with your daughter with the assumption that she will do as others do - have her own apartment, a job, a spouse...make a normal life the norm.”
huffingtonpost entry

My Child's Dream: To Have Friends

Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 00:41:02 in Parents

“I wish they would come up with something less patronizing than "Best Buddies." The concept of helping community members (whether it is students or in the community at large) connect with each other is a good one - but I feel that if it is presented the wrong way, it can actually reinforce devaluation and negative stereotypes of people with disabilities.”
huffingtonpost entry

My Child's Dream: To Have Friends

Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 23:51:58 in Parents

“One of the saddest discussions I ever had was with a group of young people who have intellectual disabilities, talking about friendship, and asking them to list their friends - knowing that they would come back mainly with family members (where applicable) or a list of paid people.

I've spent time with Dave Hingsburger on many occasions (and read all of his books) and his quote was likely referring to staff and other paid persons in the lives of people with disabilities - to challenge ourselves to find ways to shift the importance of paid staff; to recognize the power differential and act accordingly, with respect for that unique position and its responsibilities.

Dave can seem rather grim at times, but these are some grim realities, and lack of friends leads to isolation which is critical factor in high rates of abuse and neglect. Dave is a hero of mine for continually working to bring this to light.

For a similar yet more hopeful message, see Al Condeluci and his work on social capital. Not a new concept, but one that schools, parents, agencies and others should consider in greater details. You cannot "program a good life" by surronding people with disabilities in a moat of paid staff members.

Thank you for writing and sharing this most insightiful article!”

Louise Kinross on Feb 14, 2012 at 09:41:03

“Hi Keenan -- I'm grateful that you wrote and to hear your perspective!

How are you involved in this field?

I have heard of Al Condeluci but not read his books -- just looked them up here: http://alcondeluci.com/disability_resources.html

I realize that the comment from Dave may have lacked the context in which it was made.

As you noted in another comment, Best Buddies and programs like them can seem patronizing -- especially if they are framed in the 'able' person 'helping' the one with disabilities. Do you have another model that you've seen that's been more effective?

Like your example of the youth who couldn't list friends, this issue really hit me a year or two ago when I was programming a voice device for my son and couldn't think of a single 'real' friend for the friends section (and didn't want to put in only paid people).

Thanks again!”

Julie Kingstone on Feb 14, 2012 at 00:23:10

“Yes, 100% Dave was not suggesting people with disabilities have less to offer. I think most of his life has been dedicated to how much the world misses out on by failing to appreciate all that they have to offer.”
'Unified Theater' Group Disregards Divisive Special Ed Classification

'Unified Theater' Group Disregards Divisive Special Ed Classification

Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 14:47:06 in Impact

“This is an excellent story for many reasons, but for me what resonates most strongly is the deliberate intention that this is about authentically including people, not organizing patronizing "buddy" systems where people with disabilities are carried along and should be thankful to have received enough pity to hang out with the "other kids." What is so great about this is it not only changes thinking and attitudes for those directly involved, but by virtue of being on stage together, helps change public perceptions as well. In many ways schools and other systems tend to model a type of thinking about disability that emphasizes difference. What a brilliant way to break through that and show what real inclusion looks like without need for a sermon that would undoubtedly be dismissed as wishful thinking. Bravo!”