I don’t currently live with a disability. I have three boys, 18, 16 and 12, all of whom have a variety of gifts and learning challenges.
Having and expressing outrage about the lack of inclusion, the systemic oppression, the legacy of injustice, and the ongoing segregation of citizens with disabilities is tricky business from where I sit.
But here’s what I know to be true. Any activity that creates a parallel universe for citizens with disabilities also serves to deny my children the opportunity to experience the fullness and rich diversity of a community that welcomes everyone.
So this is what I think might help change the public discourse regarding who has propriety over outrage and a thirst for change…If you don’t live with a disability, learn your role as an ally. Listen with all your heart; turn down the volume on all you thought to you knew to be true about people with disabilities.
Then do THIS…
If you don’t know or love someone with a disability, start asking the question-why don’t you? Question your schools and classrooms about the inclusion of students with disabilities. Ask your community coaches and club organizers-where are the kids with disabilities? Talk about it at church, or synagogue, mosque, temple or yoga studio. Speak loud and with the confidence that your experience and the experience of your children will be wildly enhanced by the participation of citizens with disabilities.
Do it because you owe it to children, yours and mine.