Hello everyone - and thanks and welcome to all of you most recent Made Possible supporters who've joined us in the last week.
And what a week!
Thank you all, because the surge of support for this book so far has driven us to hit the very important midway milestone - 50% crowdfunded - just two weeks after launch. Wow.
I'm so grateful to everyone who's pre-ordering Made Possible, as well as sharing its aims and inviting others to get involved. As I write this update, there are 116 people in our Made Possible community, and I'm absolutely delighted that the book's incredible range of supporters includes learning disability self-advocates, family members, campaigners, professionals and support organisations.
You may also have spotted that last week was Unbound's Anthology Week, offering a social media focus on the publisher's essay or story collections. Some of you tweeted about why you decided to help publish Made Possible ("because I believe in challenging learning disability stereotypes", for example), and I wrote a short Twitter thread about why the book's so important:
To raise more awareness and interest, I also wrote a personal blog last week on the background to the book. The piece, on the Learning Disability Today website, explained Made Possible's goals, described our diverse range of supporters, and encouraged others to join in to help make sure it's published. So here's a brief extract:
Made Possible: a new book showcasing the stories of professionals with learning disabilities – if funded – will challenge perceptions that people with learning disabilities are passive recipients of care or deserving of pity.
When I tell people that my youngest sister has the learning disability fragile x syndrome, there are usually two common responses. People either ask what fragile x is, or they want to know kind of support she needs.
Not many people ask my sister’s name (Raana) or how old she is (28). They do not ask about her skills (baking, ceramics), what she likes doing in her free time (zumba, movie nights), or her achievements (so many to choose from – her artwork, her college course, her public speaking, how she looks after her nephews and niece).....
So if you believe that people’s independence and talents should be upheld, instead of undermined by austerity and welfare reform, if you want others to discover the dynamic personalities of people who are most often overlooked, and if you want to challenge the status quo on learning disability, you should be supporting this book.
Thanks so much everyone for joining the growing campaign to publish this book; I'm looking forward to seeing what the next week brings.
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