Why are Attitudes Important?..
In commemoration of the 20 year anniversary of ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, the Seattle based Alliance of People with Disabilities held a celebration on July 26, 2010. Having this event was a great way to familiarize the public with disabilities.
I was blessed with the opportunity to do a comedy show for this event..Quality speakers and musicians kept the attendees interested and entertained. My experience has been that similar events of this type are much more popular in the eastern states. My hope is that the the Seattle based Alliance of People with Disabilities will do many more events of this nature. As the public’s familiarity with people who have disabilities increases, the overall Attitude toward people with disabilities will become more positive and supportive.
Attitudes are like Snowballs
What I’ve seen, in the East, is that participants’ enthusiasm feeds on itself. Like a snowball grows bigger as it’s rolled through the snow, participants’ enthusiasm grows as they interact with staff and each other and discover new possibilities.
West coast people’s Attitudes toward people with disabilities seems to be based on limited opportunities to see people with disabilities in a social setting. Hopefully this event is a foretaste of many more events of this nature which will be taking place on the west coast. Having more events like this could create a type of snowball effect until western events of this nature match the enthusiasm of eastern events.
Two particular events, among many similar events of this nature I’ve participated in, one in Mississippi and one in Massachusetts come to mind. Together, these events were filled with thousands of happy, positive, enthusiastic people who obviously believed in the possibilities of people with disabilities.
PTositiveAttitudes StrengthenPeople, Disabled or Not
I don’t know if the East coast verses West coast difference in Attitude is because of political party affiliation or because people who live in the East are more aware that this is a minority they could join at any time or if it’s because key people in the East have invested more time/money into helping people with disabilities become productive members of society.
Our Attitudes and Our Actions Effect Each Other
The more energy we spend uniting ourselves, the less we’d have to spend on deadbolts to keep bad people out and on counselors to convince ourselves that despite us not always being OK and despite other people not always being OK, that’s OK.
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