Reference-and-Education At the end of October, LDIs Veronica and Rob Crawford organized & led a small group of Arizona citizens in staging a first-of-its-kind Rally called EmployAbility. The purpose of the event is to update public perceptions about the capabilities of PwD to achieve life/career success and their desire to earn economic self-sufficiency through meaningful work. The history-making morning Rally drew about 175 people, sponsored by 22 businesses, agencies, schools and programs, covered by local media, had loads of pictures taken, and is a template for what is hoped will be a future filled with similar events in every city across the country. This post is in recognition of the spirit of humanity to choose a positive direction and what happens when a few people work to unify disparate parties around a .mon cause for the betterment of all. My next post will zero in on speaker messages and follow up efforts now occuring to sustain the people, connections, and energy from the Rally. Thomas Means stresses how PwD need to assertively remind their employers they seek responsibilities & opportunities- just like all other members of the workforce Recent history: How can anyone make a difference for PwD in todays world? During the 2008 Fall Presidential primaries, I sat with my wife Veronica, and listened while candidates from both parties thanked their key constituencies for making their victories possible. When emails/robocalls came asking for my vote for a particular candidate, I examined the disability policy positions of both major partys candidates about ADAA, real .munity inclusion, access to meaningful employment, education and other civil rights issues. Logging onto the candidates websites, I then provided citizen .ments/feedback regarding these campaign promises telling them there was a potentially large voting block of people that were being left out. My message was they could be the first Presidential candidate to go public in identifying with and reaching out to voters with disabilities. We then waited (and waited, etc.) to hear from the candidates to openly acknowledge PwD as a voting .munity actively courted and counted upon for their votes. As everyone now knows, this did not happen- but it was the impetus for starting this blog as a way to provide knowledge, information, and stir .munity activism about the lifespan concerns of adults with hidden disabilities. During what began and continues as the longest period of economic and political upheaval in over 75 years when conventional wisdom repeated daily messages about the end of the world as we know it, the airways/blogosphere filled with pervasive arguements doubting Americas leaders, and citizens seemingly frozen or unable to figure out what to do about it, Veronica and I decided to act like leaders & citizens. The initial idea that became the EmployAbility Rally was Veronicas idea conceived as a Million Person march in Washington DC focused on what living in a world that offered full civil rights inclusion for PwD would mean to all Americans. The Rally was to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of the ADA , national Disability Employment Awareness month, and the 2010 mid-term elections. With that noble and lofty aspiration as a starting point, we saw immediately and clearly that there was not a national .munity-building movement (yet) to build upon, coordinate to, organize with and launch such an event. A close secondary realization was that even amongst PwD, there is a tendency to stay with our own kind and that there is limited engagement outside of a particular disability groups conference or meeting. Did we really undertand what it is like to walk in other people with disabilities shoes and find a .mon basis to work with/trust each other? Of all the possible concerns of PwD in relationship to civil rights inclusion and recognition, was there a .mon issue we could generally agree upon? About the Author: 相关的主题文章:

 

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