Ability Advocates
Ability Advocates
Do You Really Mean Me?

We were the proud parents of one
extremely active baby girl, a child that was
up and moving around in her crib at
daybreak. She was so active, Joi made us
get up when she was ready to start her day.
Three years after Joi was born came
Dorothy. I just knew she was going to be a
boy as this was my last chance to have that
son that every father wants. At least
Dorothy favored me and had my laid back
style. She however was nothing like Joi. She
would lay in her crib for hours and seemed
to be content with herself. My reaction was,
"Yes there is a God!" But many months went
by and Dorothy was not moving much. Joi
continued to be sharp and quick. My wife
began to think that something was wrong
with Dorothy, and after much pain and
knowing in our hearts that all was not quite
right, We took Dorothy to  the Delaware
Curative Workshop to be examined. One
test after another we waited to hear the
news. After many months, Dorothy was
diagnosed as having a developmental
delay.  What is a delay? Why did my child
have be less than normal? What did all of
this mean to Dorothy and our family? To
these and many other questions we would
seek answers. For two and one half years
Dorothy saw innumerable therapists. In that
time many things happened to me. I
remember taking part in a parents support
group at the workshop. It was there that I
and other parents talked about the early
pain of having a child that was different.
One dad and five moms. Somehow it didn't
seen odd being the only male in the group.
Many times a mom would say, "my husband
wouldn't do what you are doing; you are
special." That made me stop and think just
what I was doing. All I could see was what
had to be done. Would not anyone do what
they saw needed to be done for their own
child and family? Because I carried Dorothy
to most of her appointments, I met a lot of
new and interesting people. Soon I was  
asked to sit on this committee and that
board. Since then I was appointed by then
Governor Mike Castle to the Interagency
Coordinating Council for Infants and
Toddlers, Birth to Three. Two years later I
was elected vice-chairperson; then chair.

I have flown all over America advocating for
children with disabilities and their families.

I have found my life's work. I have
stopped asking why me. YES ME!

This journey has led to the development of   
ABILITY ADVOCATES. Our focus is on
relationships. We arm families with hope
and the knowledge to cultivate and grow  
meaningful relationships with their child's
educators.
Advocacy Experience

1989 to 2002
Due Process Panelist
Delaware Part B

1989 to Present
Advocate
Interagency Coordinating
Council for the State of
Delaware (Past Chair and
Vice Chair)

1993 to Present
Family Voices

1994
Partners In Policymaking
training

1996 to Present  
Impartial Hearing Officer
for Vocational Rehabilitation
for the Division of Labor for
the State of Delaware

1999 to 2007  
Cub Scout Pack 47 of
Bethel AME Church in
Wilmington, DE
(Pack Committee
Chairperson 2005 to 2007)

2001 to 2007  
Delaware Educational
Surrogate Parent Program

2003 to Present
Delaware New Scripts

2005 to Present
Advisory Council
Consumer Education Work
Group
New York-Mid Atlantic
Consortium for Genetics
and Newborn Screening
Services

Bruce has sat on local,  
national councils, and
boards. He has presented
at numerous local, national,
and international disability
conferences.
Public Hearing
Washington, DC
6/14/2007
IDEA

Four score and seven years
ago our fore fathers brought
forth on this continent a new
nation, conceived in liberty
and dedicated to the
proposition that all men,
women, and children are
created equal.

The created equal part allows
me a father of three girls to
stand here and express the
need to fully fund the
reauthorization of IDEA.

In this great city a rite of spring
is the blooming of the cherry
blossoms.

The cherry trees are planted
and tended to. And with great
expectations we wait for spring.

Not all of the plants come out
of the ground just right. With
some special care all of the
cherry trees rise to take their
place.

Research to practice has
come a long way.

Many more children could and
can benefit with full funding.

IDEA is large and complicated,
but one thing is very clear to
me, a fully funded IDEA will
help more children grow and
be a part of this great country.
Copyright 2014 Ability Advocates.
All rights reserved.
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Advocacy Experience

1989 to 2002
Due Process Panelist
Delaware Part B

1989 to Present
Advocate
Interagency Coordinating
Council for the State of
Delaware (Past Chair and
Vice Chair)

1993 to 2010
Family Voices

1994
Partners In Policymaking
training

1996 to Present  
Impartial Hearing Officer
for Vocational Rehabilitation
for the Division of Labor for
the State of Delaware

1999 to 2007  
Cub Scout Pack 47 of
Bethel AME Church in
Wilmington, DE
(Pack Committee
Chairperson 2005 to 2007)

2001 to 2007  
Delaware Educational
Surrogate Parent Program

2005 to Present
Advisory Council
Consumer Education Work
Group
New York-Mid Atlantic
Consortium for Genetics
and Newborn Screening
Services

Bruce has sat on local,  
national councils, and
boards. He has presented
at numerous local, national,
and international disability
conferences.