In this episode, we sit down with Mary Mecham, Director of Disability Book Week to learn about this year’s inaugural event. Mary is an avid reader, advocate, and mother of two girls with rare genetic disorders. She has teamed up with Parish School Teacher Caralou Smith to start Disability Book Week as part of their capstone project with Texas Partners in Policymaking, a leadership training program designed to empower adults with developmental disabilities and family members to become effective advocates for policy change. Mary says that she was inspired by her own daughters to search for books that had main characters with disabilities. During her search, she started to meet authors with disabilities who felt inspired to write about their own struggles in their published literary works. Mary got so excited about their journeys that she knew she needed to share all these incredible books and authors with the world!
Throughout the episode Mary discusses the process behind picking books, teaming up with authors, and the importance of having a panel research and vet at books. She also talks about different activities happening throughout the week to celebrate and ways listeners can get involved. However, the most powerful part of the interview is when Mary discusses WHY elevating the perspectives of people with disabilities is important for everyone!
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