D iz for Different – Video Journey

Video Journey to accompany people and events in the book, “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance“. You can view the book trailer here.

Disproportionate Stick People

In 2nd grade one of Lillian’s team in an IEP meeting said “We are still working on getting her to draw proportional people”. My response “I don’t care that she doesn’t draw proportional people. That’s something special and unique about her!”

Lillian was 7 or 8 years old then. She’s 10 years old now and her people are still different, they are unique, and they are AWESOME!!

Different iz Good . . . Disproportionate Stick People Are Good . . . Spread the Word! –Camilla Downs

A Different Kind Of Singing

Children like Lillian are why the Turning Views Foundation and the Gift a Voice Project were created. The Foundation’s intent is to make a DIFFERENCE for those that are DIFFERENT. First, by providing to nonverbal and/or speech impaired children an iPhone or iPod touch so they can FINALLY have a voice and be able to communicate in a more fluid and modern way. – Camilla Downs

Want to help us? Make a cash donation, donate your last generation iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, or host a Gift a Voice Cell Phone Recycling Drive. Visit our Get Involved page to learn more ideas. We are a 501(3) non-profit and will provide you with a donation receipt.

Showers, Escalators and Airport Toilets Oh My!

(Guest post by Camilla Downs –  Camilla blogs at CamillaDowns.com)

In July 2011 Lillian and I attended the Chromosome 18 Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana and thought I’d share some of our adventures with y’all!

We had an absolutely beautiful and fun time on our trip together.  Airports are a challenge for us as Lillian has worries and fears and depth perception and balance issues.  So we aren’t going anywhere fast when we are in an airport.  That Mama you see with a frightened looking 9 year old that has a death grip onto said Mama’s arm, hand or any body part she can grab a hold of {sometimes painfully} . . . that’s us!!  Lillian did a fantastic job going through security here in Reno.  It wasn’t crowded and we didn’t feel rushed.  Heck, she even had a ball when she beeped going through the scanner and Mama had to be searched and patted down.  Mama was just so darn happy to get the privilege of having a little ole body massage that early in the morning and at the airport . . . who woulda thought.  My only complaint is that the pat down {aka body massage} didn’t last nearly long enough!

It completely escaped my thought process when reserving our hotel room to ensure the room had a bathtub.  Showers are a “not happening” zone for Lillian.  Ain’t no way she’s getting into a shower!!  I was pretty pooped after finally making it to Indy and we actually had a VERY fabulous corner room with an awesome view . . . I did not want to mess with changing our room.  So, let’s just say that’s the longest Ms. Lillian Darnell has gone without having a bath!!  She did go swimming while she was there and I wiped her down with a wash cloth . . . in my world that’s darn good nuff!!

Our Chromosome 18 events were on the 2nd and 3rd floors.  There were escalators between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors.  Another “not happening” zone with this little lady.  I don’t know how many of you have attended conferences in big hotels; but one thing is for sure . . . the elevators move slow as molasses {especially at this one due to one elevator being serviced the entire time}!  I could not talk Lillian into getting on that big bad scary moving stairway thingy just for one little ole floor.  So, off we went to wait for the elevators to ride for one floor move.  I know, I know, you’re thinking why didn’t ya just use the stairs.  Some stairs are okay with Lillian . . . just a few stairs . . . that’s okay.  Stairs inside of a building or even outside like a library are okay.  But, definitely not those industrial stairwells inside of big buildings, you know, the kind that echo and seem to go on forever.

What long trip with our kids with special needs would be complete without mentioning airport toilets?  These have got to be one of the scariest inventions EVER for some of our kids! Hahahaha! Thanks to another awesome, beautiful and wisdom filled Chromosome 18 Mama, we have conquered those darn scary thrones of airport-dom! A few years ago at one of our conferences Shelley Hunt, Mom to Becky and Sarah Hunt, shared with us that she always had post notes in her purse.  She used said post it notes to cover those annoying little sensors so the toilets would not flush unexpectedly.  Lillian felt the need to use the bathroom while we were waiting at the Dallas airport for our connecting flight back to Reno.  We got in the bathroom and she started saying never mind, I don’t need to go. My mind sprung into action . . . “What was that little trick Shelley shared? Oh yes, post it notes.  Oh Lord, do I have any?”.  So I began to search our bag and my purse for one of those magical post it notes.  I finally found one, and only one, marking a page in the book I was reading.  I had just discovered a treasure!!  So Ms. Lillian used that darn airport toilet and we left that bathroom with our heads held high knowing we had conquered that scary flushing white throne!

Showers, escalators and airport toilets . . . oh yes . . . quit the adventure! Seriously, I think y’all can tell I like to have a sense of humor about all this jazz.  That’s me . . . that’s the way I process, I choose to see the humor cause I just don’t care for the alternative.  What do y’all think?

“A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.” -Hugh Sidey

If you’d like to see more pictures of our Chromosome 18 Conference adventures go here y’all!

{Enjoy this post? Feel free to “like” it below and share with your Facebook Friends by pressing here! Thanks y’all -Camilla}

About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor.  Please see their details on our Contributors page.  If you’d like to guest post for Different iz Good check out our Write for DIG page for details about how YOU can share your stories and tips with our community.

Gift a Voice FUNdraiser – Vino for Voices

Whose ready to have some FUN while at the same time raising money for the Turning Views Foundation, Different iz Good and Gift a Voice?

Clark is our next Gift a Voice Recipient

We’ve got a great time scheduled for Wednesday, March 30th, from 6-8 pm at Kona Gold Coffee and Wine Bar y’all! An informal night of fun, wine, chocolate (Dorinda’s Chocolates to be exact!! YUM) and appetizers.

March 30, 2011, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Kona Gold Coffee & Wine Bar
3304 South McCarran Blvd Reno

Over TWENTY FIVE donations for our over the top awesome raffle!  Ranging from Jewelry to Gift Certificates to Wine to Oil Changes to Massages to Bread Baskets to Chocolate to Limousine services to Dental Exams to Books to Chiropractic Exams and all things in between!!

100% of the event fee goes to our Gift a Voice project.  Kona Gold is donating the space, the wine and the appetizers and Dorinda’s Chocolates is donating the chocolate.  Kona Gold is also donating all their tips for the night to our Foundation!!

Bring your inactive and used iPhones, smart phones and cell phones for donation to our Cell Phone Recycling for a Voice Drive.  Receive (1) One FREE raffle ticket for each phone donated.

Join us and support those in our lives with special needs and those with communication disabilities!

Help us spread the word about our Vino for Voices event by sharing with your Facebook Community and pressing that little ole “Like” button below!! We appreciate it times a million y’all!!

(After check out please print your PayPal receipt as that is your ticket to “taste”!!)


Sponsored and hosted by:

Delicious Mouth Watering Chocolate Provided by:

Bring Your Smile ‘Cause Photography Provided by:

Filming Provided By:

Valentines for Voices


Hurry y’all!  No time to spare on this one.  Need to get these mailed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week (February 7, 2011).  Those of you in Reno have a bit more time as we can hand deliver for ya! 😉

**These Valentine-Grams will be hand made by Fairy Princess Lillian Darnell**

Fairy Princess Lillian

3 Versions of Valentines to choose from – $5, $25, $50 –

$5 Valentine: Your sweetheart, friend, parent or child will receive a Valentine-Gram via email with a special message from you and us letting them know you helped purchase a voice for someone with communication disabilities.

$25 Valentine: Your sweetheart, friend, parent or child will receive a Valentine-Gram via US Mail with a special message from you and us letting them know you helped purchase a voice for someone with communication disabilities.

$50 Valentine: Your sweetheart, friend, parent or child will receive a Valentine-Gram AND a silver plated pewter pendant prayer box via US Mail with a special message from you and us letting them know you helped purchase a voice for someone with communication disabilities.

Round Prayer Box

Cylinder Prayer Box


Valentine Options




The Gift of a Voice

We are so very grateful to Sparks News Tribune for writing about the Foundation’s Gift a Voice Project on December 23rd.  Jessica Carner did a fantastic job articulating my passion and the amount of information given to her.  Debra Reid did a fabulous job taking the photographs.  They both know their stuff!!

Jessica titled the article “The Gift of a Voice” and I am thrilled with it.  Would love to hear your thoughts in the Comments section below or on the Different iz Good facebook page.  Click on the image below to read the article.

Thanks Jessica, Debra and Sparks News Tribune.  I and the Turning Views Foundation and Different iz Good community send you a great big Thank You!!

The Gift of a Voice - Sparks Tribune Article

Recycle and Give a Voice to those Without

Let’s give ’em something to talk about y’all!  It’s official! We’ve just received our first media coverage about our recycling project.  Thanks to Reno News & Review for taking an interest in Turning Views Foundation’s efforts to collect last generation iPhones, iPods and (soon) iPads. These devises are much much more than a phone or a device to house all your favorite songs.  They literally give a voice to those without one.  We are in the midst of a communication evolution that has shifted in such a way to include a segment of the population like never before.  1 of every 8,000 people in the United States has a communication disability. You can read more about my thoughts on this topic at The Evolution of Communication.

These mobile, compact and cool Apple devices can be used as speech generating devices for those that communicate with sign language or who aren’t able to articulate words.  By installing an application like Proloquo2Go one can communicate and express themselves using a modern hand held device.  The community for socializing and conducting business has exponentially increased for those who have a communication disabilites.  Insurance companies and Medicaid do not cover these; but do cover big clunky speech generating devices that cost anywhere from $5,000-$10,000. Let’s be clear here though.  We do understand that there are instances where these devices are the right fit for someone.  We are not discounting their usefulness and need.

We would like to officially thank Robin Snegg Krueger with Disability Resources/New2U Computers, 50 E. Greg St in Sparks, Nevada and Alicia Detriech of Mac-O-Rama, 4690 Longley Lane, Reno, Nevada for their involvement with our “Gift a Voice” Project! If you are local to Reno, you can drop off your last generation devices at either of these locations.  Alicia, owner of Mac-O-Rama (an authorized Apple service provider), will reset the devices so no worries about your personal information.

If you are not local to Reno you can mail your device to Mac-O-Rama, For Turning Views Foundation, 4690 Longley Lane #22, Reno, NV 89502 (make sure it’s packaged to protect!)  Thanks and we would love to hear your Comments!