Today is a big day for Born Just Right! We are in Washington, DC this week. Thanks to the combination of my travel for work and the fact that it is summer break, Jordan and I fell into a really cool opportunity. We were invited to share Born Just Right’s mission and Jordan’s Project Unicorn creation during an event focused on the Maker Health movement. It’s called “Making Health” and the event is hosted by the Health and Human Services Department’s Idea Lab, MedStar Health and the National Institutes of Health. We are incredibly honored to be invited to display Project Unicorn and how Born Just Right is a part of the special needs world.
What is “maker health?” Well, the health world is just getting started when it comes to helping patients take a bigger lead in the way they design their own care in chorus with his or her medical practitioners. Jordan had a chance to take the lead and develop something super fun that sparkles. While developing a glitter cannon that shoots from her arm, she and her design partner at Autodesk, Sam Hobish, also had a chance to look deeper into designing 3D printed elbows and designs that are totally based on Jordan’s concepts. I pulled in her prosthetist, David Rotter, to see if he could help Jordan’s design partner and also see if there may be ways to mashup Jordan’s standard prosthetics with 3D printed items that can be produced quickly based on Jordan’s input. It’s a really cool combination of patient/design/practitioner-focused development.
And Jordan is only just getting started!
We are super excited to share the various prototypes of Jordan’s glitter cannon. She’s going to demonstrate how it shoots at least a few times during the three-hour event. We’re also excited her brother, Cameron, has a chance to join us at the event. We’re going to learn a lot! I can’t wait to report back what we’ve learned throughout the White House National Week of Making. It kicked off with the National Maker Faire (where Jordan won an Editor’s Choice award!) and it ends with the Maker Health event. I’m so proud we have the opportunity to be involved in this Nation of Makers!!
Leading up to the release of Finding Dory, I heard so many tales about how special needs played a big role in this movie. But I wanted to see it to believe it. This Pixar movie series has been an important part of our special needs parenting lives ever since Jordan was born. Nemo and his lucky fin were one of the easiest ways I could explain Jordan’s difference to kids in Cameron’s pre-school class. But time fades and fewer kids knew about Nemo.
When this new movie was announced, all I had hoped was the chance to see Nemo involved in this movie about Dory. Limb different kids around the world can point to that tiny clownfish as proof that a physical difference doesn’t have to hold you back.
What we got in this movie was much more nuanced. Finding Dory is more of a movie that allows a lot of different sea life to show how they survive and thrive WITH differences. Not despite. Dory and her short-term memory loss are obviously the main focus as she searches for her parents. Nemo, his dad, Merlin, and a host of new characters join in to support Dory.
This movie celebrates differences without calling it out. Many characters work together when they may have a difference that requires help. (Just like in Finding Nemo.) Interestingly enough, I never heard the term “lucky fin” mentioned during this new movie. Limb difference wasn’t the big focus. Nemo is just treated like any other fish. That’s because his fin difference (I just made that term up! I like it!) doesn’t matter. It doesn’t hold him back. Obviously, Dory and everyone else in the movie knows that fact as well. Not once does a fish or another animal ask if Nemo needs help. Nemo gets it done. So do Hank and Bailey and Destiny. Dory learns that lesson as well in this movie.
There are similar themes in this movie that match Jordan’s current life. She’s powering through her life showing how she’s able and not disabled by having fun with her differences. One-handed life isn’t a hindrance. It’s different. It might need to require extra work. I think Finding Dory shows how your difference isn’t in the way of your progress in life. You just have to build a path toward learning things differently.
I asked Jordan what she thought about the movie. Here’s her official review. If you had a chance to see it over the weekend, I’d love to hear what you thought as well. (Warning: She hints at some spoilers.)
I love seeing movies that offer perspectives on physical and invisible differences. Finding Dory offers a positive outlook in a gentle way. It isn’t forced onto you. And yes, as Jordan mentions in the video, it’s worth watching the movie until the very end of the credits.
Months ago, we were invited to a local Kiwanis Club meeting to share the story of Born Just Right and all the cool things we do in the limb difference community and beyond. I didn’t realize how crazy our life would be, but it is so fabulous to have a chance to see Jordan develop […]
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