Woman smiling.

Annie Doan, CSD Graduate Student

Annie Doan, a second year graduate student in the College of Educational Studies 
Communication Sciences and Disorders
(CSD) Program and the
The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) 
participated in an exciting event recently.  Fellow students from cohorts 4 and 5 volunteered at the
Down Syndrome Association of Orange County’s
Buddy Walk this past Sunday, November 3, 2013, at the Angels Stadium
.  As one of Down Syndrome’s Association of Orange County’s (DSAOC) lead volunteers, Annie Doan is thrilled to initiate a partnership with Chapman CSD and DSAOC. She wishes to share the day with those who were unable to attend, so she created a fun video of the event.

DSAOC was founded in 1978
by a small group of dedicated parents sitting around a kitchen table. Now thirty years later, DSAOC continues to build on those strong traditions of the past by serving more than 2,000 families in and around Orange County.  The DSAOC Center is located in Costa Mesa, and hosts many activities, events, seminars, and support groups. In addition, much of their work includes outreach and collaboration with an expanding network of educators, healthcare providers, researchers, therapists, employers, policymakers, and many others in the community.

Two women smiling in front of Angel Stadium.

CSD Students Annie Doan and Laura Wenglikowski participate in the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County’s annual Buddy Walk

Strange how our lives can intersect:  As an instructor, I recently had guest presenters who spoke with my students about the importance of ensuring respectful teaching environments that meet the needs of all learners.  I was inspired to share the following essay with them.  Emily Perl Kingsley, whose son has Down syndrome, wrote the essay.  She works to raise awareness about people with disabilities and encourages inclusion. Additionally, she is a longtime writer for Sesame Street and has written children’s books, videos and songs that appear on Sesame Street albums. She has received 17 Emmy Awards and 14 Emmy nominations for her work on the program, along with the Secretary’s Highest Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  While these efforts are all impressive, it is this essay that touches my heart.  I hope you feel the same.

Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to imagine how it would feel. It is like this…

When you’re going to have a baby, it is like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The Gondolas of Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It is all very exciting.

After months of anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bag and off you go. Several hours later the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, ‘Welcome to Holland’. ‘Holland? ‘ you say. ‘What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy! ! ! I am supposed to be in Italy. All my life I have dreamed of going to Italy! ‘.

But there has been a change in flight plan, they have landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they have not taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It is just a different place.