For More Information:
Dads of Disability (www.dadsofdisability.com)
Dads of Disability - National Essay Project Launches to Support Fathers of Children that Experience Disability
An Indiegogo Crowdsourced Project, Dads of Disability Attracts more than 30 Essayists from Across the World, Aims to Publish by Spring 2014
Brookline, NH – September 10, 2013 – Dads of Disability, a project to chronicle the experiences of fathers caring for children with disabilities through a collection of essays and poems, is now underway.
In only a few weeks, the crowdsourced/crowdfunded project has raised over $4,500 on Indiegogo and has attracted participation from more than 30 essayists. The project aims to raise an additional $10,000 and include another dozen essayists to publish a book titled “Dads of Disability: Stories for, by, and about fathers of children that experience disability (and the women who love them)”.
Gary Dietz, a father of a 14 year-old son with multiple special needs, is the lead author and editor/curator of the project. Dietz has found that seeking guidance from educational materials, counseling, and support groups for parents of children with disabilities leads to support almost exclusively aimed at the female experience. He launched Dads of Disability to expand the support materials available specifically for fathers.
“Dads of Disability uses a story-based approach to illustrate the experiences and feelings of fathers and male caregivers and show that those feelings are shared by other dads,” said Dietz. “It is very difficult to find dads who are willing to share. My hope for this project is to create a collection that dads can relate to and that will spur thought and essential discussion with loved ones and the community at large.”
“Societal roles and expectations for fathers are changing rapidly,” said MaryAnn Campion, Director, Master’s Program in Genetic Counseling and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Boston University School of Medicine. “These changing expectations are especially challenging for fathers of families that include children with special needs of all kinds. Those fathers and families, as well as the professionals who support them, recognize a growing need for a variety of materials that support all family members and caregivers of all genders.”
Crowdfunding, Pre-order Discounts, and Dr. Jane Goodall
The initial $4,500 raised on Indiegogo will cover part of the essayist stipends, poetry prize payments, and book production. By October 5, 2013, the project hopes to crowdfund an additional $10,000 to help complete and launch the book in spring 2014. To support the crowdsource and receive pre-order discounts and other perks in return, visit the Dads of Disability Indiegogo page.
On that project page, an animated short-film explores some of the themes that will appear in the book, from handling uncomfortable moments and struggles with grace to the unique joys and opportunities that are afforded by having a child with special needs. The animation includes a segment based on Dietz’s son Alexander’s chance meeting with famed primatologist and environmentalist Dr. Jane Goodall, who has since been a pen-pal with Dietz. Dr. Goodall personally donated a few items for use as perks in the crowdfunding effort. Other perks for supporting the Indiegogo campaign are discounted pre-order copies of the Dads of Disability book and ebook and original artwork from the animation.
Essay Submissions and Sample Essays
Essay submissions to be considered for publication are still open into the late fall and can be submitted on the Dads of Disability website. Anyone can download and read sample essays and a poem from the collection. While the book is about male perspectives, women are encouraged as both readers and essayists. The goal of Dads of Disability is to promote inclusion and an open conversation.
About www.DadsOfDisability.com and author/editor Gary Dietz
www.dadsofdisability.com is a web, ebook, and print book project by Gary Dietz. Dietz is a father of a 14 year-old child with multiple special needs. He has been an entrepreneur and educational technology marketing professional since 1997. He has a BA in Writing from the State University of New York at Potsdam and has appeared on local TV on special needs issues and on Boston-area and national PBS shows concerning educational technology. Gary lives in Brookline, New Hampshire.