Today in The Spark – Down with Disney

November 21, 2019

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Spark, where we highlight some of the more compelling and inspiring news happening in the disability communities. Have something we should know? Drop us a line.

  • There’s a terrific story you may be familiar with already. Nicole Perkins is a photographer based in the United Kingdom, and among her claims to fame are photography shoots with down syndrome children that have proven widely popular. Her latest endeavor is “Down with Disney,” a series in which she photographs down syndrome children dressed up as Disney characters. As the series has spread virally, Nicole’s work has become a hot commodity, and she has been profiled multiple times. Bravo Nicole!
    • What do you think about this? A mom refused a gift to her wheelchair-bound son in a Chuck E. Cheese from fellow patrons because, while she appreciates the gesture, she doesn’t “want him to think that he is entitled to things because of his disability. He can earn a ball – or anything else he wants to for that matter.” It’s a tough call. Have any thoughts on this? Sound off on Glimmer.
    • The National Disability Institute has released a report – Banking Status and Financial Behaviors of Adults with Disabilities – that finds that despite the advances brought about by the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act thirty years ago, the disabled face significant financial challenges relative to their more-abled peers. Among them: households with a disability are far more likely to be unbanked, and only 38 percent of households with a disability save for unexpected expenses or emergencies. Nonetheless, there is hope, the report found. “It is essential that policymakers, financial institutions and community organizations rally around the report’s findings and recommendations, and begin to work together to ensure equal access and financial inclusion for people across the spectrum of disabilities,” said Michael Morris, the Executive Director of the National Disability Institute.
    • Kudos to King County, Washington, which aims to reverse policies that allow businesses to pay subminimum wages to people with disabilities. We’re amazed that this even needs to be discussed.
    • Be sure to read this piece by a disabled man and new homeowner in California, where he details the countless ways home ownership has changed his life for the better.


“When you ask someone about their disability, please realize how hard it might be for them to discuss it with you. When they tell you about their disability, please don’t tell them they don’t know what they are talking about. Instead, believe them and support them however you can.”

— Beth Anne, who uses a walker and recounts how she deals with people asking about her disability.

Words of Encouragement

“For me, getting a house was the result of refusing to give up. Countless people told me it wouldn’t be possible for me to qualify for a mortgage loan on disability income. What stayed with me through the whole process was a refusal to give up despite systemic barriers.”

— California homeowner Charis Hill

That’s it for today. If you think there’s something we should highlight in The Spark or on Glimmer, we’d love to hear about it.

Also, head over to Glimmer to discuss this and anything else with fellow Glimmer members.

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— Geoff Anderson
Co-founder of Glimmer