Disabling the Disability Labels – Advocacy for Us: Keeping Hope Alive!Linda Brauer / Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 / No Comments »
Disabling the Disability Labels – Advocacy for Us: Keeping Hope Alive!:
I just contacted my legislators to ask them to oppose cuts to special education funding, and earlier today I asked them to not cut all funding for the AmeriCorps program and Community Health Center funding for health clinics that serve the uninsured. I know we all must pitch in, but these are programs that are investments in the community. AmeriCorps provides volunteers to health clinics that serve people without insurance, so they don’t have to wait until a health problem becomes far more costly to treat in an Emergency Room. Special Education allows many students with disabilities to become tax paying citizens, who other wise wouldn’t be, or worse, will end up in the school to prison pipeline. It seems that no sooner do we think we have accomplished our mission, or gotten a law in place, than we have to start over.
Why do we do it? What makes us think that our efforts are going to matter? Maybe we do it because it’s worth it, even when we can only help just one. We do it because we wouldn’t know how not to.
“Community” is what helps sustain me. It’s seeing “fellow travelers,” who haven’t given up, who keep resurfacing, stronger for their struggles.
We have learned the goal is not about trying to be “first,” “best,” “perfect,” or like everyone else, but about caring, reaching out, and sharing our stories. We have learned that when people come together, it’s our differences that make the difference!