Who are we?
This is the website of Disabled In Action, Inc. (DIA). We have made history, with our work many times, that is pertinent to a segment of society that has been totally omitted from the mainstream Disability Movement! That segment is the children born with disabilities, and those who acquired disabilities who live in poverty.
Rev. Calvin Peterson formed the Advanced Association For The Physically Handicapped in 1970 and received our charter from the state of Georgia. The A.A. P.H. is the oldest and only nonprofit organization founded and operated by people born with disabilities .
In 1986 the A.A.P.H. changed its name to Disabled In Action, Inc. and the first Board of Directors was developed. Its members were Rev. Calvin Peterson, Mrs. Darianne Brown, Mr. Clay Putnam, Mr. Lee Jackson, and Ms. Shaila Sawyer.
The Board of Directors and youth were instrumental in keeping issues of poor people with disabilities in the forefront of society. We covered issues such as housing, education, transportation, and employment. We educated and advocated the public and officials about the lack of equity and exclusion facing impoverished communities.
Meet Rev. Peterson
Founder, Advocate, Speaker, and Author
Rev. Calvin Peterson’s life was and is filled with challenges. He was the first African American male born with a severe disability, confined to a wheelchair to graduate from high school. His classes were not accessible since many were on the third and fourth floors. Later, Calvin persuaded the State of Georgia to send him to New York where he graduated from Long Island University. The overwhelming challenges he faced to complete his education and other challenges in his life are documented in his autobiography “Nothing Is Impossible”.
Support Our Cause
Without question the need for the caregiver or parent caregiver of a child born with a disability to have some “me time” is paramount. Gertrude Peterson was overwhelmed from the stress of being a single parent caregiver and passed away before she was 50 years of age. Being a caregiver or a parent who is the caregiver of a child born with a disability brings with it a measure of stress that few truly realize. And, even if they see it, comprehending the impact is rare. Such caregivers and parent caregivers give so much of themselves that they very often deprive or deny themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally. The pressure can become so extreme to the point where turmoil consumes the caregiver’s soul. Suicide becomes an option, just as alcohol and drugs become an option. If any of these become manifest, then not only will the child have to think of ways to manipulate through their disability, but they will also face the harsh reality of abandonment and possible abuse. Thus, the purpose of this campaign is to generate enough funds to pay for an all-expense paid vacation for caregivers or parent caregivers as well as compensation for childcare while they are on a well-deserved vacation. This is an annual event. Disabled In Action will engage in a process to determine who will receive the vacation. Additionally, DIA will be researching ways to make the stress relief sessions available to a larger number of caregivers and parent caregivers.
“I was 8 years old. I crawled into my mom’s lap and asked, If you die before me, who will take care of me? She answered in an authoritative tone, God will take over!”
-Rev. Calvin Peterson
THE GERTRUDE PETERSON
STRESS RELIEF FUND