March is Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and as executive director of Blue Cap, I would like to share some thoughts from the perspective of the staff at Blue Cap about disabilities and how we rethink limitations posed by disabilities.
American ends in “I Can.”
We are all Americans, yet for some reason, we need to have a month to highlight how people with disabilities “can.”
My friend’s grandson, Will, is shy, and he recognized Anna at the store the other day. Will went right up to Anna.
“I know you,” he said. “You are Anna.”
Anna reads books to the children at Will’s daycare. Anna has intellectual disabilities and can use a walker to assist her in getting around, and she can read with expression and feeling.
Will does not see Anna’s disability because he has not been taught that she is different; he is not afraid of her disability because he knows that she can bring joy and pleasure to him and his friends. To Will, Anna is Anna, and Anna can read a great story.
Like all Americans, people with intellectual disabilities can. Addie can knit a sweater better than most. Tom can paint scenery like an Impressionist. Greg can hit a baseball with skill and finesse, and Frank can landscape in the summer and winter better than most of us can.
At Blue Cap, we see March as Ability Awareness Month. None of us can do everything, yet we all can do something.
This month, look around, what can you see?