donnaDonna began her career as an actor, director and teacher. But in 1988, when her son Nicholas was born with severe disabilities, Donna embarked on her second career as a disability activist, author, consultant and writer.

Donna describes her son Nicholas

00:06 – Describes her son Nicholas
03:30 – Describes interpreting Nicholas “in the best possible light”
06:19 – Describes Nicholas’ communication abilities

Donna on the role of the parent

00:05 – Distinguishes between parenting and the role of the therapist
01:41 – Discusses types of therapy and her right as a parent to make decisions
02:46 – Shares an example of how invested she was in therapy
04:27 – Identifies the moment when she realized what her role should be
05:22 – Cautions against allowing the parenting role to be overtaken by therapy
09:37 – Shares a story about poor communication of medical information despite her extensive experience
12:52 – Encourages parents and professionals to establish boundaries and role definitions
16:31 – Discusses ‘age-appropriateness’ for both the child and the parents
20:22 – Shares her son’s adjustment to moving away from the family home

Donna on the bigger picture

00:07 – Describes the Capability Approach
06:49 – Differentiates between rights-based and ethics-based activism
08:39 – Discusses dependency and what we value in our lives
10:14 – Discusses Eva Kittay’s theory of equality
12:44 – Proposes that supporting families should be at the heart of policy

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