Born This Way

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-

There’s plenty of fear surrounding disabilities and disability awareness, but there’s a reality show that puts us up close and personal in a new way.  “Born this Way” is a docu-series following the lives of seven adults born with Down syndrome.  We’re able to follow each cast member as they pursue their life long dreams, explore friendships and work while defying society’s expectations.  In their willingness and courage to openly share their lives, through a lens that is not often shown on television, we learn they have high hopes just like anyone else (Click here for more on the show). 

The dialogue created from this show is what our society must hold on to and participate in as we break down barriers and stigma associated with disabilities and disability awareness.  This type of dialogue will help enhance access to funding and services.  For instance, there is a huge push currently in California to boost funding for various programs, to help people with developmental disabilities live independently.  In Minnesota state officials are pressuring counties to spend more of the billions of dollars allocated annually – much of it unspent in recent years – for a coveted form of Medicaid assistance that helps people with disabilities build more independent lives in the community.

Let’s continue to keep the dialogue going as we move from a mindset of “them” to a mindset of “us.”

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-