Kids on the Block Puppet Troupe

From Director Connie Kelly:

I am very grateful for the partnership between the McLean County Diversity Project and Students for an Accessible Community's Kids on the Block Puppet Troupe. As many of our students became seniors with less and less time to volunteer for our puppet troupe I turned to Jeff at the Diversity Project for new volunteers to continue the very worthwhile project, educating kids about kids with disabilities. The Diversity Project kids have been incredible! They are hard working and dedicated to the project. While they learn how to educate others about people with disabilities they are themselves being educated about accepting people who are different- dovetailing our goals into the Diversity Project's goals perfectly.

Students for an Accessible Community is the student component of Access Allies of Bloomington-Normal. AABN was formed in 2005 with the goal of improving accessibility in Bloomington-Normal to all its citizens, regardless of disability. AABN holds information seminars and expositions, our biggest being the Parenting and Disability Expo in the fall. In January 2008 LIFE Center for Independent Living invited SAC members to volunteer for the Kids on the Block Puppet Troupe they were taking over for the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department. We had a dozen kids volunteer and they performed at LIFE Center's 2008 Wheelathon in April. Later that year LIFE Center lost their funding for the project and asked SAC if we would like to take over the project. We happily stepped up to the challenge.

I have been the secretary for AABN since 2005 and also am the adult mentor for SAC. My husband, Christopher Kelly, is the chairperson of AABN. He and I are raising 5 children ranging in age from 5 to 19 years old. Christopher has had cerebral palsy since birth and uses an electric scooter for mobility. Christopher has worked at State Farm Insurance for 15 years, and I am currently working seasonally at MetriTech Inc. and you can sometimes find me at LIFE Center filling in as an administrative aid. After marrying Christopher 7 years ago, I became increasingly frustrated at the lack of accessibility for people with disabilities in Bloomington-Normal. My work with AABN/SAC and the KOTB puppet troupe is my way of addressing this frustration by educating people about people with disabilities, People First language, Universal Access and Accessibility Law.

Lean County Diversity Project   c/o Jeffrey A. Schwartz   PO Box 58   Downs, IL  61736

All content is © Copyright 2012 McLean County Diversity Project

McLean County Diversity Project   c/o Jeffrey A. Schwartz   16043 Dorado Road Bloomington, IL 61705