It’s 1978, and inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream society is still a radical concept. Determined that their son Ty will take his rightful place in the world, Mike and Nancy Belnap ignore the doctor’s advice to institutionalise him because he has Down syndrome. Instead they embark on a lifelong journey of discovery. From Adelaide to the USA, from the Whitsundays to the South Pacific, the Belnaps seek answers and demand equality for their son. Both teachers, they take on the education system and adapt it for the benefit of all children with a disability. From their adventures sailing the high seas to their fight for Ty’s rights, their story is a roller coaster ride of near-disaster and hard-won delight. And when young Ty reveals an astonishing talent, the Belnaps again find themselves travelling the world – this time in Ty’s wake. Positivity is the Belnaps’ touchstone, but there’s no escaping the realities of disability parenting. When tragedy strikes twice, Mike must prepare Ty for the worst-case scenario: life without both parents.
Nelle Frances –
This is a fantastic tale, filled with humour, adventure, guts, heartache and love. It’s also the “blueprint” for inclusion – a must read if you live or work with people with (dis) ability. Mike and Nancy have been the pioneers of inclusivity – for participation within family, community, sport and education. The book is a must read for educators, sporting coaches, employers and families. You will be inspired to throw off your “dis” glasses and embrace a new world of possibilities.