Jo Meserve Mach, author and publisher, spent 36 years as an Occupational Therapist. She is very passionate about sharing the stories of children with special needs. Jo embraces the joy that individuals with disabilities bring to our communities through their unique gifts. Vera Lynne Stroup-Rentier, author, was an Early Childhood and Special Education teacher for 25 years. She has a PhD in Special Education from the University of Kansas and is currently working at the Kansas State Department of Education. Vera is passionate about the inclusion of each and every child in settings where they would be if they did not have a disability. Parenting a teen and tween with special needs enrich her life. Mary Birdsell is a freelance photographer and a former Speech and Theatre teacher. She strives to create images that reflect the strengths of each child. Mary's background in education, theatre and photography intersect as she visually creates our books. She uses colors and shapes to tell a story. For her each book is like it's own theatre production.
Finding My Way Books: Bilingual Books Starring Kids with Special Needs Finding My Way is an independently published series of non-fiction children's books featuring diverse children with a wide range of special needs or disabilities. The stories are told in the child's voice and are accompanied by photographs of daily activities such as going to the zoo or preparing for a holiday. Photos also show family members, friends, pets, and other important details of the child's day. Each story highlights the ways the children are becoming more independent in their activities - in the words of the authors, "'finding their way' toward living a life as a self-determined adult." For example, in Marco and I Want to Play Ball, a young boy with Spina Bifida shares his story of playing baseball with his cousin and grandfather. The books also include guidance for families and teachers on how to use the books at home and in the classroom, as well as additional information about the featured child and family. The books are written by a team of educators and professionals who have many combined years of experience in working with children with special needs; they launched the series to help increase the visibility of kids with disabilities in children's books through authentic stories. Realistic, accessible, and uplifting, these books are an important resource not only for kids who have special needs but for broader audiences of children who can learn from the protagonists' strengths, challenges, and achievements. All books are available in English and Spanish. -Lydia Breiseth Colorin Colorado