Welcome to SNs 360
We are a nonprofit organization committed to giving a unified voice to those living with special needs and disabilities. It is our desire to shift the conversation on the needs of those with disabilities from the fringes of consciousness into the mainstream.
My name is Stephen Taylor, and I am the founder of SNs 360. I am also a person with a disability. I was born with severe to profound hearing loss. This means I must wear hearing aids to assist me with hearing.
When I was two years old, my parents realized that I had an issue; eventually, the issue was a hearing disability. I was one of the first students at the Atlanta Speech School, which was where I learned to talk; but, I still needed to learn how to communicate without American Sign Language (ASL). Ellen Rhoades and Beth Mahaffey, Founders of the Auditory-Verbal Center, taught me the skills of lip reading and communicating through the phone. Throughout my education in the public school system, I was mainstreamed and a part of the Special Education Program in the Cobb County School System.
When I graduated from high school, I had no intentions of doing anything for others; my focus was on making as much money as possible and distancing myself from any divine figure. I would graduate from Kennesaw State University, but I felt even more segregated. Not one time throughout my career at KSU did I receive any assistance because of my disability. I refused to get the necessary help because I was tired of being different and just wanted to be like everyone else. This attitude would eventually come to haunt me.
Because of my insistence on ignoring my disability and desiring to be a part of society, I would make decisions to simply rebel. I was embarrassed about my disability and wanted so much to be a part of society. These decisions would lead me to the point of suicide because my life was a complete train wreck. Finally, I had to confront my attitude about accepting my disability and not worrying about the attitude of others.
After spending a season being segregated from society, I came to realize that my disability is a part of who I am. It would take me losing everything to recognize that God has blessed me a gift – a hearing disability. In 2014 I realized that God was calling me into ministry. In time, I recognized the call was to be the voice for the Disability Community.
I stand before the world in proclaiming that I will do all that I am able to unify the various groups within the Disability Community so that our voice is heard. It is time for the world to recognize that people with disabilities have gifts to share. We will no longer accept not having a place at the table. We want to be a part of society and that means access to all buildings, including houses of worship; we want access to the basic necessities of life: food, water, shelter, and community.
We invite our friends in the world – the faith communities, the political communities, and other communities – to join us as at the table. Let us work together to transform the world. The Disability community has at least one gift to share that the world desperately needs today – it is the gift of love.
Join SNs 360 and myself as we begin to share this gift.