Inclusion & Graduation Rates – It’s Not Just the Zip Code

I’m a pro-inclusion kind of girl.  School, church, community. Yep, I’m one of “those moms” that believes it can work. Some people call that unrealistic and others say I’m just in denial. Those of you who know me and those […]

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Holiday Advocacy and Awareness

I get it. You’re tired. You’re exhausted.  Between Devos, #SavingMedicaid, ESSA, the latest tax cuts and all the in between, it’s been a tough year.  Many advocates are feeling like no one in listening. It is cliche’ but remember: advocacy […]

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#Thankful #Blessed by #SelfAdvocateRoleModels

I am blessed. I could write those three words and that is a blog in itself.  One of my blessings, our blessings, is the role of the many self-advocates who have come before Rachel. I don’t remember when I first […]

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#RachelVotes1stTime

Today was a very proud day for the Mast family.  We got up a little early so we could go to the polls as a family and vote .This was Rachel’s first time to vote in an election. Well, besides […]

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8 Practical Ways to Spread Down Syndrome Awareness

While October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month and we make intentional efforts to make you aware of the abilities of those with Down syndrome, for hundreds of thousands of us, we do Down syndrome advocacy 24/7.  Every year people […]

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Volleyball, Inclusion, Awareness and Acceptance

April 2014 – We had Rachel’s official transition to high school meeting. There were 15 people there including Rachel and a variety of teachers, administrators, counselors and case managers from both her middle school and high school plus Jonathan and […]

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Honoring a Teacher Who Get’s It

A few months ago I was invited to write a letter of nomination for one of Rachel’s teachers.  Our school district’s education foundation, Olathe Public Schools Foundation,  presents Excellence in Educator Awards on a monthly basis. There other awards for […]

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What Would I Say 18 Years Later?

Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!  I think revisiting the question of what I would say to younger parents is a good post to celebrate our friends and loved ones with Down syndrome! Four years ago I wrote a blog called […]

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Powderpuff. Inclusion.Joy

Rachel is a senior.  This is her fourth year as volleyball manager and volleyball always has an away game on the night of the bonfire, picnic, dance and traditional Junior-Senior Powderpuff game.  They usually make it in time for the […]

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What will Rachel do Next Year?

We work in the student ministry at our church. A few years back some of the seniors said one of their sources of pressure was everyone asking what they were going to do. Historically, this is a fairly common question […]

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