A dream can be as individual as a fingerprint or as universal as a common prayer.
For parents of a child with developmental disabilities, the dream may be for a child to speak or to walk. For an adult with autism, the dream may be getting a job, living independently or with supports. For one woman, the dream was to enable all children and adults to develop to their fullest potential as they grew up in a community which accepted and valued them.
Tomorrow we will commemorate the life and legacy of our founder Dr. Gertrude A. Barber. It’s a celebration with joyful festivities including the friendly animals of Granny’s Ark petting zoo, Joe Lish, our staff member, providing musical entertainment, and of course we will be wearing our favorite color, green.
For some of the thousands of people whose lives were changed by Dr. Barber, the occasion is cause to remember the significant impact left by this remarkable woman. She often said…
“Our focus has continued to be a mission of faith, hope, and love-to open the doors where they were closed – to bring sunlight where there was darkness-faith where there was despair.”
Dr. Barber was on the front line advocating for children and adults with developmental disabilities. She frequently made trips to Harrisburg lobbying for more funding, and was on the front lawn of the White House when President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
Dr. Gertrude A. Barber’s vision brought hope to parents, joy to children and courage to the community by promoting understanding, acceptance, tolerance and inclusion.
The spirit of Dr. Gertrude A. Barber lives on as the Barber National Institute continues to make dreams come true for our children, adults and their families. Thank you Dr. Barber for your leadership, vision, commitment, and teaching us to reach for our dreams!
For the first time I met Dr.Barber in the summer of 1990.She allowed me to be part of her work and learn from Barber institute and helped to have a dream. I am reminded of her today as you commemorate the founders day, I like to remind you that her dream has spread to distant lands like India where her dream is being fulfilled.
Thank you Dr. George for continuing to follow my blog. Who would have thought when we began working together 23 years ago that you could have taken our model to India? I know the challenges have been many but the rewards have been greater as you fulfill her dreams in India!