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Graynle Edwards chapter 7


Chapter 1: Childhood and Family
Chapter 2: Dr. Edwards as a Student | Professional Aspirations
Chapter 3: Birth of Graynle, Jr.
Chapter 4: Graynle Jr.'s Educational Experience
Chapter 5: Impact of Disability on Relationships
Chapter 6: Graynle Jr's Education and Impact of Least Restrictive Environment
Chapter 7: Joining a Community of Advocates (you are here)
Chapter 8: Lack of Opportunities Post-secondary School
Chapter 9: Dr. Edwards Advocacy for Children and Adults with Disabilities
Chapter 10: Challenges for Parents Today
Chapter 11: Relationship with Graynle Jr. and Reflections on Advocacy

transcript - entire interview

Graynle Edwards Interview (Word)

transcript - current chapter

Chapter 7: Joining a Community of Advocates

14:15:31:22 - 14:17:39:05

Lisa: When you were talking just a minute ago about Graynle's experience in Germantown, you said that you and your wife sort of gave up the fight. There had been too many battles, sort of, fought over the years

Lisa: Why were you feeling so battle weary at that point?

Dr. Edwards: Well you know they uh.... You know, raising a special needs child, you know, it's... it can be kind of demanding. Okay, and so that has to happen regardless of what services have taken place outside the home. That's a given. Uh, but when you take into consideration the different meetings that you've been to, the different battles that you had to fight and given the fact that I said before, by the time I figured (out what was actually going on in Germantown High School, I, uh, I said "Well he only has a few more months. The hell with it. You know, let's... let's just wrap it up." And then, of course, shortly afterwards, I got into another battle with the whole community collaborative initiative with the closing of Byberry and Pennhurst. And that's when I came in contact with uh... uh, uh... oh my God, I can't believe I'm struggling with her name. Not Michelle, uh... the secretary of

Lisa: Estelle?

Dr. Edwards: Estelle Richmond. Yes, yes. Very impressed with her from the beginning. Very impressed. And, uh, so the, uh... I'd gotten to the battle again, you know, uh...

14:17:39:05 - 14:20:10:06

Lisa: Tell me what that battle was. I don't think we've talked about that before. What was the battle and what was your experience like interacting with the secretary of

Dr. Edwards: Well it was the wholethe whole idea was centered around getting, uh, better services for special needs individuals. Not just the intellectual disabled but also mental health, uh, domain as well. And the, uh... it was trying to crystalize the kinds of services that were needed for thatfor those populations. So that's what the community collaborative was all about. And, uh, we'd met periodically and I don't remember the overall agenda since that was so long ago but in the gist of it - the gist of itthat's what it was all about: trying to crystalize these services, uh, identify the kinds of finances that was required in order to pull off some of these services or to implement these services. The, uh... At the same time, I was, uh, tapped to be on the mayor's commission for special needs. I did that for a couple years. Uh, then after that, uh, I think, uh, not too long afterwards, uh I met, uh, Dee Coccia and Maureen Devaney and, we uh... before I knew it I was part of a Vision for Equality, you know on the Board, and uh, I remember we met at a little small Italian restaurant down in South Philly and it was so funny - I'll never forget it. The music reminded me of The Godfather. They had the music in the background. I said: "Wow, golly, we're living, uh Don... uh, uh, what was his full name?

Lisa: Corleone?

Dr. Edwards: Yeah! (Laughs) I'm reliving Don Leone's experience, you know, but that was so funny. But that's how we got started with it - Vision Equality, Vision for Equality.

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