Over these past few weeks, I have talked to parents and students about special education and COVID-19, but recently I had the opportunity to talk to someone with a different perspective. Frances McBrayer is a licensed social worker in Georgia, a mother to a gorgeous six-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy, and the new Executive Director of FOCUS. Through talking to her I learned a variety of information regarding schools this fall, safe gatherings FOCUS has been hosting, and about the perspective of a parent with a wide-local network in the community of people with disabilities.

What is FOCUS?

FOCUS…


With a generation of people who aspire to be influencers or to be well known on social media, Sarah Grace Morris is doing exactly that. Sarah Grace has 635K followers on her Instagram account sarahgraceclub and 611 subscribers on her YouTube channel SarahGraceClub. Her mother mentioned that “We have always pushed for Sarah Grace to be in an inclusive environment and never focused on what she couldn’t do”, and her dreams about her future and her entertaining videos on Youtube share that message of inclusion.

Who is Sarah Grace Morris?

(left to right) Sarah Grace wearing a floral ball gown, Olaf (charchter from Frozen), and her brother Mathew wearing a suit
(left to right) Sarah Grace wearing a floral ball gown, Olaf (charchter from Frozen), and her brother Mathew wearing a suit

Sarah Grace is a rising freshman at Friendship Christian School…


“We regret to inform you that due to COVID-19, our event for this Spring/Summer has been canceled”.

That single heartbreaking sentence and others like it flooded our inboxes the instant that people in the United States realized we would need to stay home to flatten the curve of reported COVID-19 cases for months to come. We had entered uncharted territory where we could not position ourselves within fifteen feet of people, and we were told that restaurants, schools, athletic facilities, and activities that defined normalcy would come to an abrupt halt. When COVID-19 became a talking point in the United…


Even though Saris is considered to be at high-risk for COVID-19, the pandemic has not ceased her excitement to learn new tasks from her home. Earlier this week I had the opportunity to talk to Saris Marie, a multi-talented student from Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs, FL, 13 miles north of Orlando. While talking to her I was fascinated to hear about the value students at her school have for inclusion of people with disabilities.

Who is Saris Marie?

Picture of Saris Marie in her cheerleading uniform. She is standing on her school’s track with pom-poms in her hand.
Picture of Saris Marie in her cheerleading uniform. She is standing on her school’s track with pom-poms in her hand.

Saris Marie is an incredibly smart rising Senior with Down Syndrome at Lake Brantley High School. Down Syndrome, also…

C. Pari Jain

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