November 2019 - Focusing on Gratitude

Disability Resource Library Newsletter

Thank you!

November is the time of year that many Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. We want to express our gratitude to all the people and community groups that dedicate time and effort into enriching the lives of people with disabilities. This month’s issue celebrates teachers, caretakers, employers, and family members.

Take a look at a few of the resources our Disability Resource Library has to offer and, as always, please feel free to reach out to Roger May, the Media Resource Specialist for the Center for Excellence in Disabilities, via email at or by phone at 304-205-6434.

Featured Resources

All featured resources are available to borrow from the DRL
To browse more resources, click here.

Thanking the Moon

cover of Thanking the Moon cover

By Grace Lin

A harvest moon is rising it's time for a nighttime picnic! With lanterns glowing all around, we eat soft, sweet mooncakes and drink warm cups of tea. We thank the moon for bringing us together this night of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. And we each send up a secret wish for the year to come. What will you wish for?

Borrow Thanking the Moon from our library.

Aidan's Way

By Sam Crane

Loving expression of profound gratitude to the author’s severely disabled son, from whom he has learned unexpected lessons about life.

Aidan appeared normal when he was born in western Massachusetts. But ten days later, he developed seizures that affected his breathing, was rushed to hospital and placed in the pediatric ICU, the first of the countless anguished medical emergencies. A CAT scan revealed that his brain was malformed; although outwardly normal, he would never speak, see, or walk. Sam, a professor of Asian Studies at a nearby university, and Maureen, a trained nurse, learned how to medicate their son’s seizures, exercise his limbs, and give him as many rewarding experiences as they could. The philosopher Chuang Tzu offered him the most persuasive solace: "all lives are contingent and limited . . . we never find all that we are looking for [and] cannot escape death."

One of those rare stories about family tragedy: both remarkably perceptive and lacking in self-pity.

Borrow Aidan's Way from our library.

Life As We Know It

Cover of Livfe As We Know It

By Michael Bérubé

Jamie has Down syndrome. Jamie's father, the literary critic, tell us what it has been like to raise this lively, loving, mischievous boy. But more than this, Bérubé shows us how to "see" - and how learning to see such a child can in turn change our vision of our society and ourselves. Life As We Know It is a source of vast intellectual and spiritual rewards.

Borrow Life As We Know It from our library.

We Are All Welcome Here

By Elizabeth Berg

From Publishers Weekly - A polio victim and her 13-year-old daughter work miracles from their Tupelo, Miss., home during the summer of 1964 in Berg's latest carefully calibrated domestic drama (after The Year of Pleasures). Having contracted polio at 22 while pregnant, Paige Dunn delivers her baby from an iron lung, and ends up raising her daughter, Diana, alone after her husband divorces her. Able to move only her head, Paige requires round-the-clock nursing care that social services barely cover. Now 13, Diana has taken over the night shift to save them money, sharing her mother's care with no-nonsense African-American day worker Peacie, who is protective of Paige and unforgiving of Diana's adolescent yearning for freedom. As the novel (based on a true story) is set in Tupelo, the specter of Elvis Presley naturally intrudes, for an over-the-top, heartrending finale. (© Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.)

Borrow We Are All Welcome Here from our library.

The Kindness Curriculum

cover of Kindness Curriculum

By Judith Anne Rice

This book contains activities designed to help children learn kindness and empathy to others. Activities are provided for the following area: Love, Empathy, Gentleness, Respect, Visualization, Self-Control, Friendship, and Conflict Resolution. A "Parent and Child Home Sweet Homework " work sheet is provided for each area.

Borrow The Kindness Curriculum from our library.

Accommodating Employees with Disabilities (DVD)

By The Rocky Mountain ADA Center

This 28-minute DVD program shows common examples of how to recognize and respond to requests for job accommodations in job settings. As an employer, you already know that people are your most important business asset. Whether seeking new employees, or trying to keep a valued long-time employee, simple accommodations are often the best way to fully tap your "people" resources.

Borrow Accommodating Employees with Disabilities from our library.

Navigation Tips - Access to Assistive Technology

Parent & Family Network Specialists Network Specialists are themselves parents of children with special health care needs and have had to navigate the medical and educational systems. They work in partnership with Department of Health and Human Resources Children with Special Healthcare Needs (CSHCN) local teams throughout the state in assisting families who have a child with a disability in accessing information and services.

Through the Parent & Family Network Specialists Network Specialists, the parent voice and message can be heard within the medical and educational community. Suggestions and recommendations to improve the lives of our children with disabilities can be communicated and heard through the Parent & Family Network Specialists Network Specialists. Contact our Parent Network Specialists.


A Child's Champion

photo of Dr. Kitts. She's smiling

Please meet our November Child's Champion, Dr. Elllen Kitts. Dr. Kitts is the medical director of Easterseals West Virginia, and oversees the medical services department and all rehabilitation teams. As a pediatric physiatrist (a doctor of medicine who specializes in rehabilitation), Dr. Kitts brings a specific knowledge of pediatrics and physical medicine and rehabilitation.

"Every time I see a child succeed, I consider it a success for me, too," Dr. Kitts shared. She moved to West Virginia in 1988, where for most of that time she's been the only pediatric physiatrist specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation in the state of West Virginia. "Easterseals gives me the time I need with each patient to listen and speak with them," Dr. Kitts added highlighting the importance of being able to spend quality time with her patients. "That time truly is a gift," she said.

Rehabilitation medicine provides specialized medical care and training to clients, both children and adults, who have developmental differences or loss of functions. This enables them to obtain their highest potential - physically, psychologically, socially and vocationally. Learn more about about Easterseals West Virginia.

Do you know someone you'd like to nominate to be featured as a Child's Champion in our monthly newsletter? Please let us know! Contact Roger May, the Media Resource Specialist for the Center for Excellence in Disabilities, via email at or by phone at 304-205-6434.