The more we educate about diversity outside the disability about disability the more people can understand that a person with a disability just like the next personTweet
Today is all about diversity in the world. So many different cultures and communities want to be represented and have every right to be represented. Unfortunately, the disabled community still doesn’t get the recognition and respect they deserve. Growing up with a disability, the fight I had to be in school and to be in the able-bodied community was one that I hated to admit. From having no parking spaces or curb cut-off for people with disabilities to teachers thinking I wasn’t teachable.
I look at how far the diversity of people with disabilities has come, and however, there is still more to overcome because the community isn’t as diverse as we should be. Taking “MENTOR,” a summer program about mindfulness, exercise, and nutrition to optimize resilience, has opened my eyes to what it might be like to receive a disability later in life. Being in “MENTOR” showed me how much diversity could be in just one community.
Being disabled, there were many times in my life I was in groups with people with other disabilities that were not always related to my disability. However, my friends were still born with their disabilities; getting to know another side of the disabilities as I did during “MENTOR” was an eye opener regarding contact with another aspect of the disability community.
Now, having my eyes open to another aspect of my community has me questioning how I view the way I see diversity within myself. Before understanding other communities, I need to stay within my community to understand its diversity; I must understand the diversity fully in my community. Just like your family teaches you when you are young, learning starts at home.
Diversity can be a positive thing in the world. However, the persons or groups fighting for their community’s rights should consider how educated they are in what they are fighting for. There are so many diversity issues, but understanding comes first. My family taught us that no matter what community we are a part of, we must educate ourselves so we can inform those ignorant people.
People need to educate themselves about available accommodations. They also must examine themselves carefully to know what they can and can’t do. It’s essential to say, “I have a disability; this can help me.” It’s also important not to allow your disability to take away your independence by asking for accommodations you don’t need. That is how I was raised. I was raised that no matter what rights I have as a person with a disability, I should never take advantage of them by using things I don’t need. My family has taught me to work for what I have the right to do/have and not to expect anything to be owed. To me, this is what diversity was and still should be.