Adaptability Neutralizes Disability and Diversity
People with disabilities are the world’s largest minority. Any given person could, on any given day, join this largest of all minorities. Since I suddenly joined this population after a motorcycle crash a week prior to my 19th birthday, I’ve learned to accept and adapt. The most notable thing I’ve noticed about people with disabilities is that we are just like people without disabilities. We have hopes and dreams and senses of humor.
“How can you say that people with disabilities are just like people without disabilities?” a naive person asks.
I can say it because I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I can say it because acquiring a disability didn’t eliminate my ambition or my sense of humor. I can say it because people are people and turning an athletic person into a person who’s a prisoner in their own body doesn’t mean they’re no longer a person.
The aforementioned reasons are why I can say people with disabilities are like people without disabilities. The reason people with disabilities are like people without disabilities is because people with disabilities are overcoming many of the same challenges black folks and women folk have overcome. The more thoroughly society accepts that people are people, regardless of their physical body, the easier and smoother life will be for everyone.
People are People
Like any other segment of the population, people with disabilities are a diverse group of folk. We have arrays of abilities and challenges that are different not only from each other but from people without disabilities. But because we are still people, like anybody else, we appreciate being respected and understood.
Because they can sometimes overgeneralize or misrepresent, believing or even paying attention to some stereo types is a waste of time, but stereo types become stereo types because they have at least a degree of recognizable truth. For example, the stereo type that people with disabilities have to work harder or longer to achieve a particular end may not be true in a specific case.
Winners Don’t Quit
Needing to work harder or longer to achieve a particular end is not indicative that achieving this end is any less sure of ultimately happening. Understanding this is helpful to family, friends, coworkers and employers. Understanding this can also give the potential understander the patience needed to accommodate and the understanding to realize that the act of accommodating will, in many cases, produce a sense of appreciation and loyalty in the one being accommodated.
The most important tool to getting an organization’s employees to accommodate people with disabilities is not limited to a set of dos and don’t. The most important tool is willingness to see how easy and mutually beneficial accommodating people with disabilities can be. A sure way to increase willingness is to hire a disability awareness speaker with a disability who is humorous, informative about specifics, entertaining and inspiring.
To hire humorous, informative, entertaining and inspiring speaker Al Foxx, fill out our quick contact questionnaire. He’ll customize any of these topics for your event. His book No Limits can be obtained separately or in bulk as part of a package deal.