For class, we had to watch and reflect about a video (link posted below) with a young man named Tyler, who suffers from cerebral palsy, among other disabilities, and his various life experiences and achievements throughout high school. I think Tyler makes a great point that it’s important to focus on an individuals’ abilities versus their disabilities. Ability awareness enables all of us to be creative in the ways that we can help people. Everyone should have the opportunity to succeed. I remember being in school and having classes with students with learning and/or physical disabilities. I thought it was important to include them and make them feel welcome in the environment. I think sometimes younger people get intimidated by people with disabilities because they don’t understand the extent of them and are unsure of how to help, but it’s important to learn that everyone wants to succeed and work together no matter what obstacles they face. Growing up, my mom had a boyfriend whose son was autistic. I also babysat my 3 cousins, 2 of which are on different spectrums of autism, and had babysat for a friends’ child that was too. It taught me a lot about how to communicate and alter your ways of going about things to achieve what the person needed. I also learned how special and gifted children can be in their own ways, which will carry on to adulthood. Emotionally I learned a lot of patience and compassion, to which I am very grateful. Disability and diversity awareness is vital and of utmost importance to all.
Link to video: http://imtyler.org/index.php/video/
Photo Credit: Jessica Doering