Thursday, January 20, 2011
My daughter Katelyn and I were having a conversation when she said to me, "I just don't get it. Why is it so hard for some people to talk to a person with disabilities? It's easy for me. I just treat them like I would anyone else." I pointed out that it is second nature to her because she grew up having an older brother with disabilities in the home. I also mentioned to Katelyn that when I was young (which really isn't that long ago), people with disabilities were not included in public schools; they were institutionalized. This opened up a great discussion about the importance of inclusion and how it benefits kids with and without disabilities. For the most part, Katelyn's generation is more comfortable around individuals that have special needs because they have been included in society. I wonder if our children and our children's children won't look back on segregation of kids with disabilities like our generation looks back on segregation of race...unfathomable.