Yesterday morning, at about 7:45, I got on the bus like I usually do, but yesterday was different than most days on the bus. I met a man named Chris or “The DJ of ability”. I have met him before because he came to do an assembly at my school. He is a very friendly 29 year old, and he is also a DJ! When I got on the bus, he said “Goodmorning, how are you doing?” and we had a conversation until I had to get off the bus. There is something different about Chris, he has a disability, and he uses a wheelchair. He did an assembly at my school about disability awareness, and he was the DJ at lunch. When I talked to him on the bus, I told him about my brother, and he was very interested and caring. He asked me how my brother is doing and how he likes Santa Barbara High School. Talking to Chris made my day. I am writing this post because I want to raise awareness to the fact that people with disabilities are nothing to be afraid of. They are the same as the rest of us!! Don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with someone with a disability. If you need any tips about how to talk to someone with a disability, I wrote a post about it earlier! There are things you can do in your community to be an ally to people of all abilities. Here’s what you can do:
- Volunteer at a local organization that provides activities for people with disabiltities.
- If your school has a club, join it! My school has a club that meets once a week, to spend time with the students that have disabilties.
- Go out of your way to make conversations with people who are different from you!
- Educate your friends about disability awareness.
- When you hear someone use the word “retarded” to mean stupid, tell them that it is offensive!
Do research and see what resources are available where you live! I know my brother loves to meet new people, and if someone were to spend time with him he would be so excited!! Thanks for reading!!