Achieve Services is proud to have partnered with Cow Tipping Press to give our participants the opportunity to express themselves through a new medium – storytelling. Cow Tipping Press is a local non-profit whose mission is to let people with developmental disabilities tell their stories in their own voice. They coach individuals to learn writing skills and self-expression, encouraging them to get their thoughts on paper and publish original stories.
Over several days, members of the Cow Tipping Press team were at Achieve to work with participants. The writings that were developed over the course of these days were compiled into a book called Couldn’t Find It in the Whisper – which is now available on the Achieve Services online shop and at both Achieve Services and Achieve Clean retail locations.
The stories include a fictional tale about mother-daughter bonding, a real-life recounting of a major surgery, an original essay about guns in schools, and even a one-sentence lament about working while hungry. The compilation Couldn’t Find it in the Whisper includes 24 pages of original writing from seven different authors at Achieve Services including Lyn Borseth, Aaron Downing, Stephanie Hart, Josh Larson, Amy Marlin, Jenni Muller, and Jack Rasmussen.
“This class inspires me to do something new and exciting and to tell nice and interesting stories that people will enjoy. I’m inspired to have a voice and be able to use it to be so cognitively smart.” — Aaron Downing, author and Achieve participant.
1 in 50 peers we all were born alongside has a developmental disability, like Down syndrome or autism. Yet how many of our daily interactions reflect this? A common response is that we need to give people with developmental disabilities more opportunities to integrate into society—and this is true. Yet simply doing that is like integrating the Jim Crow South and failing to replace racism with new notions like multiculturalism. True inclusion takes changing mindsets.
We teach inclusive writing classes for adults with developmental disabilities, a radical chance to speak for themselves in a medium usually used to speak about them. Students then share these distinct voices with audiences across time and place, in person and in print. 83% of readers cite that Cow Tipping books change their fundamental perspective on disability.
Want to learn more or get involved? Visit us at cowtippingpress.org!