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ABC Book Update

April 27, 2012

Larry, Jim and Susan - stage two planning for our first children's book!

Aaron Johannes and I had the pleasure of meeting recently with Dr. Susan Powell, creator of Spectrum Press’ upcoming ABC book, and Larry Wells, the project’s photographer.

Dr. Powell has assembled a focus group of adults with disabilities to create an alphabet book for children learning to read, with photos of models with disabilities participating in their communities for each letter.

Dr. Powell and Mr. Wells have been meeting regularly with a group of adults to “imagine,” write, plan, and be models for the book. They are almost finished choosing the words for each letter, deciding how to explain each word so that young children will understand the concepts, and picking the community settings they will use for the photographs. The group originally came up with a list of 300 possible words and have been working to choose the best 26 for the book. They are now down to 29, and by their next meeting they will have whittled the number down to the required 26.

It sounds like this has been an amazing process, with a great group of self advocate collaborators. The words they have chosen so far are incredibly thought provoking, but totally in keeping with the target audience of elementary school kids – a task more challenging than it may sound.

Our recent meeting focused on the format of the book and the style and layout of the photographs needed. We came up with a number of ideas, and there are still some choices to be made, but I am not letting out any spoilers here. Suffice it to say that this is a very exciting project and the final product is going to be a wonderful, fun and educational book for kids, and it is going to look fantastic.

The book will be sold to libraries, schools, groups and individuals, so that images of people with disabilities participating in valued roles will be available to all of those communities.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to check out the current selection of books and media at Also, look for us on Twitter – @101friendsbc and on Facebook.

Jim Reynolds

One Comment leave one →
  1. Shelley Nessman permalink
    April 28, 2012 9:09 pm

    I cannot wait to see the book! I know that all the self advocates involved with this project are having a great time!

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