Ultimately, though, the way forward [...] will be navigated in relationship with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities themselves. As Whole Community makes clear, it is people with lived experience who are experts on the best way forward. "The most powerful and effective act that people without disabilities can take is to yield to the voice of people with disabilities"
Through this interaction I experienced the truth of wisdom offered by Canadian, Christian accessibility advocate, Judith Snow, who shared that everyone has two unique gifts: presence and difference. Through these, every person has the capacity to form half of a meaningful interaction with another person or people.
My favorite twenty minutes of each day is when I get to help John Michael eat. He can’t do it on his own, and even with help, he can’t do it quickly. It takes time and concentration on both of our parts. It’s a dance.
Everywhere we go we are being called brother and sister, daughter and son, mother and father. Everywhere we go we are being called into relationship with the lonely and the forgotten, the sidelined and the left behind. Everywhere we go voices are calling us to be more than we ever thought we could be. May we all have the faith to call one another into the reverberations of the love of God, and to answer that call when it comes.
"I was born with cerebral palsy which makes it challenging for me to speak or use my arms and legs. ... It is difficult for me to express my thoughts and ideas to people who do not know me very well because many do not understand the way I talk or type. This takes patience and practice."
In today’s world, people with disabilities are largely ‘othered’, and there’s movement of self-advocacy afoot among them. There’s no telling what can happen when people unite across differences.
Whom have we ever had but you? Who came to be alone with us Who came to sit and weep with us In the winter after Christmas.
Everyone tells me to be glad Everyone tells me I should sing, Says ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.
I don’t want to wear a mask But I’ll wear one for my friend His lungs are bad, and if he Gets the virus he will die.
We have hope! Even though This year has been hard. For good things can come When we least expect them.