Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Man of Heart

Congratulations to Clay Aiken on his presidential appointment to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.


Press Release from the White House:


    Personnel Announcement

    President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate eight individuals, designate two individuals and appoint thirteen individuals to serve in his Administration:

    *snip*

    Dallas Rob Sweezy, of Virginia, and upon appointment designate Chair, for an additional two year term expiring May 11, 2008.
    Clayton Aiken, of North Carolina
    Stephen Bird, of Virginia
    Valerie Billmire, of Utah
    James Boles, of New York
    Stephanie Brown, of Florida
    William J. Edwards, of California
    Brian J. Kelly, of California
    Mary Margaret Pucci, of Illinois
    Linda Hampton Starnes, of Florida
    Stephen Henry Suroveic, of Pennsylvania
    William E. Tienken, of Illinois


    "Aiken brings considerable experience to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.
    He received his Bachelors Degree in Special Education from The University of North Carolina, Charlotte, in December 2003.

    Five months earlier, in July of 2003, Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel, an advocate for children with disabilities who is herself the mother of a child with autism, co-founded the Bubel/Aiken Foundation. BAF's mission is to integrate children with disabilities into the same life environment as their typical peers. In just three years, BAF has presented hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to advance its mission and has sponsored an inclusive summer day camp for three years.. The foundation has received multimillion dollar grants from State Farm Insurance and from the U.S. Department of Education to develop an inclusion curriculum for elementary schools.

    In addition to appearing at benefits in support of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving and America's Promise / The Alliance for Youth, Aiken has been a keynote speaker at the Pacific Rim Conference on Disabilities and the Fearless Caregiver Conference.

    In 2004, Aiken was appointed to be a National Ambassador for UNICEF (the United Nations Childrens Fund), with a focus on education. Following the tsunami in December 2004, he made field trips to Banda Aceh, Indonesia, to observe the rebuilding process. He also visited camps for people displaced by rebel violence in Northen Uganda, helped raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina and served as the spokesperson for the 2005 Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign."

    He received his Bachelors Degree in Special Education from The University of North Carolina, Charlotte, in December 2003".~~berkeleylovesourclay/Clackhouse



    For a comprehensive look at Clay Aiken's background and qualifications for this post from Berkeleylovesourclay, visit The ConCLAYve: Clay Aiken and Service

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


    Ability Magazine

    Clay Aiken Releases Grant for Children's Book :




    The Bubel/Aiken Foundation (Clay Aiken’s charity for the inclusion of children with disabilities) recently gave a grant so a group of third-grade authors could publish a book about friendship and acceptance. Our Friend Mikayla, the story of a child with serve developmental disabilities who finds true friendship and connection with her typical peers, will be published this fall.

    Written and illustrated by third-grade students at the Lower Nazareth Elementary School, Nazareth, PA., Our Friend Mikayla, is an honest portrayal of the children’s first reactions to Mikayla, their barriers to acceptance and finally the deep friendship they formed with her. Mikayla, now 11, was born with profound brain damage resulting in spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, severe mental retardation, seizure disorder, legal blindness, hearing impairment, and numerous medical conditions related to her disabilities. Despite the severity of Mikayla’s disabilities, her parents strived to give her as normal a life as possible. When they moved to Pennsylvania four years ago, the idea of full inclusion for a child with severe developmental disabilities was relatively new. Yet in keeping with their own personal philosophy, they requested that Mikayla be included in a regular first grade class.

    What they found was that Mikayla’s classmates accepted Mikayla and began to see her as “just like them.” Their relationship with Mikayla and their journey to acceptance inspired the book. Our Friend Mikayla became the class project, mainly because Mikayla’s friends felt they had an important message to share with other children. Their goal was to teach other kids that, “From Mikayla, we’ve learned that people with disabilities aren’t really different. It doesn’t matter if your friend is in a wheelchair. Their disabilities don’t mean you cannot be friends. Having a friend with a disability is cool.”

    The children have dedicated Our Friend Mikayla to “all people with disabilities and their friends.” When they chose the dedication, one of the children realized that might mean they were dedicating the book to everyone in the world.

    The book will be sold on The Bubel/Aiken Foundation’s website and all net proceeds will help support the Foundation’s efforts towards full inclusion. The book will be available at bubelaiken.org this October.


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    3 Comments:

    At 3:27 PM, Blogger geni said...

    hey, ee, thanks. you are now MY LINK. ha

    you sure that "...people with intellectual deficiencies" thingie isn't a joke?....sounds funny to me...but, that's prob just me, geni

     
    At 6:37 PM, Blogger Chardonnay said...

    Lots of good info in there. I just love this man so much! Thanks!

     
    At 9:21 PM, Blogger Carolina Clay said...

    EE/VV,

    Awesome blog about Clay's appointment to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and his credentials for being there!

    Have a great weekend!

    Caro

     

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