August 1, 2018
I took my family to the St. Louis History Museum this weekend for the first annual Festability event. I was pleasantly surprised at all the people. I wanted to go and represent the disability community as another body in the crowd of what I expected to be sparse. It’s hard to get PWD out for events, especially new ones, because of the many limitations on schedule, accessibility, health, and caregiver availability. We arrived, pre-rainstorm, an saw scores of people at the outside stage singing, dancing, and enjoying themselves. Festive!! We immediately ran into some friends from DSA, Rockabilities, and even a couple of St. Charles folks. As the rain started, we moved inside and it was PACKED!! Booths from the sponsors and the History Museum filled the main lobby and there was this great energy. I always look for new things, and I found Minds Eye from Belleville, IL. They are daily news reader service aimed at people with vision difficulties. They read the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Sauce Magazine, USA Today, and even the Onion’s writings aloud. Such a great idea to keep people of all abilities up on current events and feel connected to their community. We finished up our day at the food trucks and playing with the DUO service dogs. I was so happy to see this kickoff event well attended. I look forward to another one next year. Congratulations to Paraquad and the Starkloff Foundation for their vision and leadership of this event and all PWD in the St. Louis area.