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Dwell in the Possibilities
Bridget Brown, an advocate who Dwells in the Possibilities
Bridget Brown, an advocate who Dwells in the Possibilities
Dwell in the Possibilities

My name is Bridget Brown and I am a public speaker, an advocate, an actress and a young woman with Down syndrome. I am very proud and honored to receive the 2012 Self-Advocate of the Year Champion of Change Award. I love my life and it is a beautiful life because people always dwelled in the possibilities. I live in Illinois with my parents. I have two fabulous siblings, a brother & sisterin- law, and a niece. My family members are my champions and I love them all very much. My advocacy journey started when I was three years old because I was the first person with Down syndrome included in my neighborhood preschool. I was included through high school and so I am a strong advocate of inclusion. I have my own consulting organization called Butterflies for Change ( I work with my mother to inspire people to open their hearts, doors and minds to include people. I speak nationally to educators and parents about inclusion and encourage them to dwell in the possibilities, look beyond students' labels, and give children a chance to be included with their peers. I also talk to students about treating people with respect and dignity. I encourage them to be champions for others and reflect the light of compassion and respect. I was a guest consultant/speaker for Project CHOICES (Illinois State Board of Education Least Restrictive Environment Initiative) for many years. I love working with high school students with disabilities teaching self-determination and self-directed IEPs . I have had the opportunity to do that through a grant from the Illinois Council of Developmental Disabilities. I also did advocacy work in Springfield with the Family Support Network. I work as a dental assistant's assistant and I have an internship as a pediatric dental educator at the University of Illinois Dental School. One of my dreams came true when I was in a movie with Miley Cyrus called LOL. I was also blessed to be in a HBO documentary called "The Miss You Can Do It Pageant" about a beauty pageant for girls with disabilities. I have been trained as a PATH/MAP facilitator & I am a graduate of the STARS advocacy program through the ARC of Illinois. Being a Global Messenger with Special Olympics and a member of AKTION club are two favorite activities of mine. I am looking forward to receiving the 2012 NDSS Self-Advocate of the Year Champion of Change Award, attend the Buddy Walk® on Washington & the Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action (DSAIA) conference as a board member for the National Association for Down Syndrome (NADS). A few years ago I was awarded the Association of University Centers on Disabilities National Leadership in Advocacy Award in 2009. I just finished leading a very successful public speakers training program for self-advocates with NADS. I think all of us can change the world by sharing our stories. I believe in the sacred dignity of all people and I am blessed to be able to help people with disabilities design full and productive lives filled with hope!

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Nancy Spejcher, United States, IL
2/18/2012 12:18:35 PM
Bridget, you are an amazing woman and an inspiration to all of us!

Amanda Waggoner, United States, IL
2/18/2012 1:55:20 PM
Bridget, when the world looks gloomy and dark, I can see your smile, and it lights up all the dark corners. You're the bravest person I know- I love you!

Barbara Mason, United States, IL
3/1/2012 1:46:24 PM
Your story is truly inspirational.

Melissa , United States, IL
3/1/2012 2:36:36 PM
Such an inspiration to others and a pillar of hope.

Roxanna Alldredge, United States, IL
3/1/2012 2:58:14 PM
I now work with CHOICES and have heard what a wonderful role model and inspiring young lady you are! Congrats on your accomplishments!!!

Maria Martinez, Unites States, IL
3/2/2012 12:50:18 AM
Way to go Bridget! Keep up the great work you are doing. You are an inspiration to many including me. I thank you for your dedication.

Julie Austin, Unites States, IL
3/2/2012 7:42:42 AM
Very inspiring story!

Nathan Vent, United States, IL
3/2/2012 10:58:29 AM
I had the pleasure to hear Bridget speak and was moved by her passion and oppeness as well as the hurdles she had to overcome.

Kim Starkey, United States, IL
3/2/2012 11:25:43 AM
I had a chance to hear Bridget Brown speak last year at a Project Choices presentation. She was an amazing speaker and advocate. I left the presentation feeling inspired and ready to create new strategies in my classroom to inspire others.

Amy Genest, United States, MA
1/6/2013 11:57:03 AM
Fantastic and Inspirational. This is the way we are raising our daughter Olivia (1 yr old), that the possibilities are endless. Thank you so very much for sharing! Amy, Peter and Olivia

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