The Blog by Keston
Read the most recent blog below:
Why we still love Disney
year and a half ago we petitioned Disney Studios to include characters with disabilities in their animated films. It received almost 100,000 signatures from all over the world and Disney executives were kind enough to receive it.
A big misconception is that we (The Ott-Dahl's) are against Disney. Quite the opposite is the truth.
I grew up in Anaheim, only a few blocks away from what would be my favorite place on Earth for the rest of my life, Disneyland. Being so close to the mouse, my upbringing, like all children growing up in Anaheim in the 70’s, was immersed in Disney; Even the educational films at school were produced by Disney, usually with Walt narrating some wildlife feature and in the summers we’d always bump into teachers taking up a summer job at the park. We as Anaheim children really felt as if we had an "Uncle Walt."
As an adult, I wanted my children to feel the same magic and kinship with Disney like I did growing up and thankfully, they do. Whenever their films come out we saw them on opening day and already had them pre-ordered on DVD and as often as I can, I take my family to visit the parks where I become a kid again.
I cannot imagine how dull my life would have been without Disney and its legacy.
I also unknowingly grew up being a bigot, but not like you might think. I only had a few experiences with people with intellectual disabilities. And what experiences I did have frightened my young mind. I am ashamed for how I use to feel, but today am grateful for my daughter Delaney who has Down syndrome taught me I could be a better person.
I was not alone. Ableism exists.
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This is Marti, Delaney's physical therapist and advocate for Down syndrome
She is part of the village that raises Delaney. Marti works with children with disabilities and plays an integral role making Delaney able to accomplish developmental milestones on target with typical babies.
A big thank you to Marti for making Delaney work hard even though she might not want to, plowing through the tears and yes, tantrums and helping Delaney crawl and now walk!
Remember to thank your therapists, because they are part of the big picture!