From Access to Belonging – On the ADA and the Muslim Special Needs and Disability Community’s Journey

This weekend I was honored to participate and speak at an event organized by the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition -- "From Access to Belonging: An Interfaith Service Celebrating the Progress and Promise of the ADA." It is part of several events happening in Washington D.C. and around the country to honor the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disability Act, a landmark piece of legislation. It's interesting that the ADA, which holds most of our public life accountable … [Read more...]

A Special Eid for Special Needs Children – A Day of Dignity with Islamic Relief USA

There are a few activities we really look forward to every year with Lil D, events geared towards the special needs population that embrace them and cater to their different needs; events that make every effort of accommodation and celebrate individuals with different abilities. These are the events where we can take easy breaths and not worry over the thousand little details we usually worry about. The events where we can say, these is our tribe, and nothing my kid does or doesn’t do will faze a … [Read more...]

Embracing (and Including) Autism and Special Needs Families in Muslim Communities

The day after speaking at the 50th annual Islamic Society of North American conference in Washington, D.C., I was back at home in my basement hanging with Lil D. He was roaming about, spinning his beads and calling “Maw-maw! Maw-maw! Maw-maw” – very much caught up in his stim and oblivious to the world. Every so often he stopped and would come close to me, put his face in mine and say nonsensical words like “Oweeowee owee. Maw-maw! Maw-maw!”As if to say – ok Mamma, you had an audience, you sa … [Read more...]