Variety is the Spice of Life!

Throughout history we have had the struggle of one or more groups of people that have felt they were superior because of different traits like gender, race, or religion.  We have come far fighting discrimination but the disability community has always been under represented in the battle for equality and acceptance.  We have IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) to give individuals access to education and public spaces without discrimination. One thing that always bothers me, however, is that there is some unwritten code that anyone is superior because he or she has abilities that are within societal norms.  So, who has the job to decide that someone is better because they think, move, hear, or speak differently?  No one should.

Living with a disability can be a very lonely life.  Many people with disabilities closest relationships are with their caretakers. They do not have regular friendships with their peers.  Friendship with our peers is a way of fulfilling a basic human need. Let us look through the eyes of other people and try to see that our way is not the only way.  If we give others a chance we may just learn something and enrich our lives along the way.  I say often that I love working in special education because it is never boring.  I mean this in a good way.  It has helped stretch who I am because I am forced to look at life through a different perspective.  I am a better person because of it.  Let’s be real.  Life would be really boring without variety!  Let’s move away from forming “pity friendships”.  In our differences we can and will find that we are more similar then we realize.

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