It’s Not Perfect. But, we are grateful for it.

Thanksgiving is approaching. We think of families gathering around the dinner table, sharing stories and side dishes. We think of those no longer with us but who shaped our lives in good and unfortunate ways.

Grateful for the fight.Woman with and intellectual disability in hairnet and apron working.

The last several months have been trying for Mikelle and me as we negotiate some unanticipated snafus with various aspects of her funding and support services. Yet, I am grateful for the fight. It means we have something to lose, more than I could have said some forty years ago when no support was available to help us. Those were my professional fundraising days. 

So this month, despite its challenges, Mikelle and I share our appreciation for the advancements and systems developed over the last 60 years to support people with disabilities in being self-determined. 

Sixty years of progress.

The progress in this field, focusing on promoting inclusivity, accessibility, and empowerment for individuals with diverse abilities, has indeed been significant.

Various technologies, policies, and societal changes have played crucial roles in improving the lives of people with disabilities. For instance:

  1. Assistive Technologies: The development of assistive technologies, such as screen readers, voice recognition software, and adaptive devices, has dramatically enhanced the independence of individuals with disabilities in various aspects of life, including education and employment.
  2. Legislation and Policies: Legal frameworks, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States, have been instrumental in promoting equal opportunities and accessibility. Similar laws and policies in other countries aim to eliminate discrimination and ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
  3. Inclusive Education: Efforts have been made to create inclusive educational environments that cater to the diverse needs of students with disabilities. These include accessible learning materials, accommodations, and support services to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn and thrive.
  4. Social Awareness and Acceptance: Increased awareness and a shift in societal attitudes toward disability have contributed to creating more inclusive communities. Breaking down stigmas and promoting acceptance fosters an environment where individuals with disabilities can actively participate in social, cultural, and economic activities.
  5. Employment Opportunities: Initiatives to promote workplace diversity and inclusion have opened up more employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Companies are recognizing the value of a diverse workforce and are implementing measures to accommodate and support employees with disabilities.
  6. Advocacy and Support Organizations: Various advocacy groups and support organizations have played a crucial role in championing the rights of people with disabilities. They work to raise awareness, provide resources, and advocate for policy changes to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.
The Fight isn’t Over.

It’s essential to continue building on these achievements, fostering innovation, and promoting an inclusive and accessible world for everyone. The journey towards greater empowerment and self-determination for people with disabilities is ongoing, and your recognition of the progress made is a positive acknowledgment of the collective efforts of society.

Enjoy your family and all the celebrations this month. Please take a moment to whisper a toast to everything we have accomplished.