Does your idea of reproductive rights include disabled people’s right to have children?

Disabled pair defied naysayers to create own kind of family: from the Sacramento Bee

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 01, 2009

At 8 a.m. on a recent Wednesday you might have spotted Rebeka Willett on the Modesto Junior College campus. She was the 18-year-old in a Raiders T-shirt and jeans, giggling along with her classmates as she practiced arabesques in a dance class. You would have seen a student like any other: sleepy, but learning and enjoying herself.

This isn’t the way some people thought Rebeka Willett’s life would turn out. She is the child of two parents with disabilities. Her mother, Tammy Willett, has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. She needs help to eat and to do other basic tasks. Rebeka’s father, Clarence, 43, is developmentally disabled.

Some questioned whether the couple could raise a child. A public health nurse once told the Willetts to give Rebeka up for adoption. She said Rebeka would never learn to talk because Tammy can’t talk.

This year Rebeka more than proved the critics wrong. She graduated – on time – from Grace Davis High School in Modesto. Now she’s studying to be a preschool teacher. If Tammy Willett could track down that public health nurse today, she would say, “You didn’t think I could do it? Look at us now!”

Read the entire article here: http://www.sacbee.com/capitolandcalifornia/story/1510146.html

Acknowledgements to Beth Haller at media dis and dat.

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