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ABC’s of Ability Reading: a Great Success

November 30, 2013

IMG_1121On November 18th at the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library, Dr Susan Powell, Siobhan Harris and Cheryl Fryfield presented a reading of their Spectrum Press book  The ABC’s of Ability. In the audience of 49 people there were 32 grade 5 and 6 students from Charles Dickens Elementary School and a few students from Sir Charles Tupper Secondary, as well as a few members of the public.

Tess Prendergast is the children’s librarian, and throughout the reading, she and a volunteer were on either sidethe.abcs.of.ability.front.cover of the room holding  the book open to the page being read, so that the audience could see the images.

What a wonderful event! The students were attentive and insightful. There were a couple of kids who said that they were proud of their differences and felt that they aren’t really disabilities if they make you a stronger person. How amazing is that?

I talked afterwards with a couple of employees from another agency who want to connect with Spectrum to talk about how we can support each other to make sure that people with disabilities are having great and fulfilling lives, like Siobhan and Cheryl so obviously are. They were so inspired by the reading and with the work we are doing through Spectrum Press.

There was also a very nice elderly woman who stayed behind to chat. She is learning english and bought a copy of the ABC book to teach her friends, who also have limited english, about her relative with a disability.IMG_1129

Tess thought that the authors, Cheryl and Siobhan, did a fantastic job of presenting their book and sharing the story of its creation with the audience.  She was impressed, as we were, that the kids  asked a remarkable range of questions about how this book came into being.

Susan Powell mentioned that although they have presented this book at several conferences, this is the first time they have presented to an audience of children, so they were very interested in hearing the feedback from this age group.

IMG_1120After the reading, Susan asked the students what their favourite word was from the book. Here are a few of their responses: Equal, Self Advocate, Useful, Volunteering and Zest. The biggest surprise for them was that adults read ABC books too!

We want to thank Tess Prendergast and her team of co-workers and volunteers who put in so much time and effort planning for this event and making sure our authors felt comfortable. It really could not have gone better!

To buy The ABC’s of Ability, click here.

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