Recently, my friend Nathasha Alvarez asked me to write an article for her online Audacity Magazine. I was delighted because memories of the struggles I went through to get an education in the 1970s, when inclusion was not an ideal that many people or organizations strove for, often fill my mind, and I want to share my struggle and my victory.
Here are the beginning and ending paragraphs of my article. (If you want to read the whole thing, then click here to read it on Audacity Magazine.)
In the pre-ADA era, while struggling for inclusion and putting forth an unending effort, a leader in her own quiet way took on the system with no help from anyone beyond her immediate family and friends. She had cerebral palsy and dyslexia, and was in for the fight of her life.
Here are some insights into that person’s heart and soul. Throughout her life, the purpose of her struggle was to be viewed as the equal, capable person she was. This was difficult in a society ruled by stereotypes and prejudices, and that expected people like herself to be content to live out their days in institutions. But she was not content. She was me, Karen….
Let us dig deep into our hearts to find kindness and caring from within. Let us share it with others and give true support with unconditional acceptance to one another.
My question to you is: What can you bring to the table in support of disability rights and inclusion?