Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Disability is Natural

Do you know about Kathie Snow? If not click here.

I subscribe to her E-Newsletter and there was a tidbit in the most recent edition that jumped out at me and then I realized that I should post about it.

Kathie believes it's time for new perspectives about disability, and she created the Bowl of Apples logo to illustrate that just as a green apple is more like red apples than different, individuals with disabilities are more like people without disabilities than different.

Just as one of the five apples in the logo is green, one in five Americans has a disability. I just learned something new.

A person with a disability is more like people without disabilities than different.

Apples are natural . . . and having a disability is a 'natural part of the human experience' (as expressed in the U.S. Developmental Disabilities Act).

The sun shines equally on all the apples in the bowl, and it's time for the light of inclusion, opportunity, freedom, and dignity to shine equally on all people—including people with disabilities.

I like that perspective.

With that said, here is what was in the newsletter. [By the way, in case you didn't know, I grew up in PG County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC, and that's why this jumped out at me.]

Earlier this month, Prince George's County Public Schools enacted a People First Language policy. The county's Board of Education voted to adopt the resolution put forward by Board member Donna Hathaway Beck that requires school district personnel to use People First Language (PFL) in all written and spoken communication. Thanks to Donna and all the members of the Board of Education for their leadership in recognizing the respect and dignity due to all people, regardless of ability or disability.

What a great effort. It's a small thing, really, that can make a huge impact. Go, PG!

If you'd like more info like this, feel free to check out the web site and sign up for the E-Newsletter.

I'm going to look into seeing if we can get Easter Seals and/or the local military community to sponsor a speaking engagement with Kathie for our parent support group and other interested folks. It's worth a try!

Italicized portions taken with permission from The Disability is Natural E-Newsletter, December 2008 and the web site. Copyright Kathie Snow, www.disabilityisnatural.com, BraveHeart Press