Over the weekend, my niece attended her first prom. Through the magic of social media, I not only enjoyed the beautiful photos she shared, I also enjoyed her friends’ comments: the compliments, encouragement, inside jokes, and playful teasing.
For many high school seniors, prom is the highlight of the year, a rite of passage, the stuff of dreams.
Other people transition to adulthood without the memory of that one sparkling night and all the charm that surrounds it: cloth napkins, fancy clothes, shiny shoes, a trip to the salon (perhaps), fresh flowers, music, dancing.
Even more important than the physical trappings of prom is this: what it all represents: being chosen, being invited, being included, being special, being beautiful and loved.
I’m excited to participate in an event this spring that will bring the sparkling experience of prom to a group of people who might not otherwise enjoy it.
Joy Prom Florida will help adults with disabilities feel chosen, invited, included, special, beautiful, and loved. The event will celebrate each individual who attends with flowers, food, and attention.
I’m excited to be a part of it.
In the weeks leading up to the event, I’ll be sharing more about issues related to people with disabilities and their families and how you can make a difference.
I hope you’ll like the event’s Facebook page, follow our Twitter account, and check out this video on YouTube.
Tell me something! What do you remember about your first prom? What experiences have you had interacting with people with disabilities?
Will you help? I hope you’ll join me in sharing the message, the meaning, and the excitement of Joy Prom Florida.
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Wonderful story, especially the upcoming event in Florida, I can’t wait to hear more about it.
As my new business grows and I eventually seek to outsource some tasks, I met with a woman from NorthStar Community Services https://northstarcs.org/main/page.asp?NavID=10 – one of their services for developmentally disabled adults is working as subcontractors for businesses. Jobs like folding brochures, stuffing packets, putting labels on reports, etc. They will be the first place I turn to when I need help with repetitive tasks, especially when preparing for a speaking engagement or workshop — the can collate and staple handouts, for example, saving me money at the printer.
Having worked in the human services field for 10+ years, I know the importance of creating opportunities for people with disabilities to work, attend events, do the kinds of things that many of us take for granted.
Thanks for giving me a nudge to feel grateful for organizations like NorthStar and the group in Florida for providing these kind of services and opportunities.
Although I tweet and blog in the area of leadership my “real” job and my passion in life is working with people with disabilities. For thirty five years my company (stepsprograms.com) has designed and provided programs for people with special needs. Your Joy Prom sounds like a lot of fun – wish I could be there! The neurotypical world takes access and opportunity to participate in such mainstream events for granted.
I am looking forward to your upcoming posts on disability issues.
Prom–so long ago, but I still remember my dress! It was lime green. (Yep! Lime green!) And it had a cape. And I saved up to buy it. I went with a good friend to prom because my boyfriend and I had broken up. But, you know, going with a group of friends made the whole prom experience more free of drama.
We attended a church in Florida where one of the members was a young man who had CP and used a wheelchair. My young daughter was quite comfortable talking to him. One day, in his halting speech Tony explained, “When she looks at me, she doesn’t see my wheelchair.”
I’ve always tried to adopt my daughter’s attitude when I meet people with disabilities–and look past the disability.