Back in March, I participated in a Carnival of Genealogy topic of "Tribute to Women". I posted about my dad's sister, Marianne (1930-1978), who had Down Syndrome. Well, someone from Temple University's Disabilities Studies BLOG read the Carnival at Creative Gene and posted a comment. From there things have been very exciting for Marianne.
I'll make a long story short, but the post on the Tribute to Women Carnival caught the attention of a professor who was working with an organization called Facts on File. They are working on publishing a three-volume encyclopedia on the History of Disability in America and hoped to use one of the photos I'd posted on my blog in their work! They were impressed, apparently, with the manner in which she was raised as part of the family and even often the center of attention. Today I granted them permission to use the photo in their project (to be published around June 2009), provided that I maintain the rights to the photograph, a condition to which they agreed.
It is my hope that the encyclopedia will help educate America to the value of people with disabilities and raise awareness to the inequities that they have faced and continue to face. I'm so proud that Marianne will be part of that endeavor. While this is not the photo they chose for the section including Marianne, it is representative of the fact that it is I who should be saluting her.