The Old and The New

By David Morstad

Those words were part of the keynote address by Patti Stonesifer at the annual conference of Lutheran Services in America. Ms., Stonesifer currently serves as Chair of the White House Council for Community Solutions. Continue reading

A Few Basic Things

 By David Morstad

Last week in Pittsburgh, Lutheran Services in America held their annual conference. On Tuesday afternoon, the Disability Network of that group sponsored an open forum titled “Long Term Supports and Services,” featuring Dr. Charlie Lakin, director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Continue reading

Just tell me how many!

By David Morstad

Occasionally, I have the chance to speak to people about developmental disabilities and the people who have them. “How many people have a developmental disability?” is among the most basic questions. People deserve a good answer and it would be helpful to provide a simple percentage upon which everyone agrees. Unfortunately, that’s just not as easy as it sounds. Continue reading

A few things you may not have heard about Down syndrome

By David Morstad

You don’t need to be a professional in the field of intellectual and developmental disability – ask anyone and they are likely to agree: the population of people with Down syndrome is unlike any other.  That turns out to be true in some very surprising ways. The extra 21st chromosome accounts for only about 1% of the genetic information (about 200 of the roughly 20,000 genes) we carry, but the medical questions alone provide an intriguing study. Continue reading

Going to College

By David Morstad

Last week I had the opportunity to visit two institutions of higher learning (yes, you can still use the word “institution” if it’s followed by the words “higher learning”) and learned two important things: (1) college cafeteria food has come a long way in 35 years, and (2) students on campus are willing to spend time and money on post-secondary education for something beyond purely altruistic reasons (if that’s even a consideration at all). Continue reading