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Literally

For this week’s instalment of

The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

I thought it might be helpful to ask the next question to the two people in my life who could best answer it.

These two were, if you believe in that sort of thing, meant to be mine and my brother’s parents. Whether you call it God or fate or whatever, I believe it to be true. They had no previous experience with children with “special needs” when I was born and they had no choice but to dive into the world of specialists and specialty teachers and programs, to give me the best possible chance at a happy and successful life.

As if that weren’t enough. They didn’t just do this at home. They go out into the world and make a difference in people’s lives every single day. Here is more on how they care.

Week Two: Part B
(Part A can be found here

Awareness.

Q: Do you have loved ones who live with disabilities? Do you work with people who have disabilities?

A: (My mother was a stay-at-home mother while I was growing up. It wasn’t easy for her to jump into the working world after so many years removed, but she stepped up to the plate and used her skills wisely. She does a job each day that not a lot of people could or would be willing to do. She makes lives better and she treats her clients like human beings, doing all she can to bring light and fun into their lives.)

I work in a group home with individuals with both physical and developmental disabilities. Our job is to give them a home and help them contribute. Whatever each person is able to do, look after each of them and help meet whatever their special needs may be. 

For example: food and Meals.
Some individuals can help shop for groceries, one can do a great job of barbecuing, some can make their own breakfast, one needs assistance to steady their hand in order to get a spoon of food to their mouth, and one needs to be spoon fed every bite. Everyone is unique and you assist each special need and even more important is to promote each ability.

(My father worked in a retail setting for over twenty years, until he grew weary of the long hours and high demands and went in search of more meaningful work. He did something I will forever be in awe of: he walked away from a highly stressful situation, left a steady paycheque, and regained his sanity and his self through the unknown of a future career he did not yet know he would find. This leap of faith brought him to the necessary and valuable work he has done for over ten years now.)

I’m the owner and driver of a wheelchair cab. About 20% of my clients have disabilities such as strokes, amputees, MS and the elderly. My service gives these individuals the ability and access to travel  in their community, anywhere that they may need or want to go.
Having had two children with disabilities, this is my way of feeling good about a job that contributes to the special needs of others.

My parents are the two best examples I know. They do what they can, in every aspect of their lives, to help others. They are selfless and kind, generous souls, literally working every day to make the world a better place.

Next week’s two-part question starts with: If you have a medical diagnosis, do you see yourself as having a disability? Why or why not? If you don’t have one, how do you view the concept of disability or the people in your life who have them?

***

Happy International Literacy Day

Rilke wrote:

“You ask whether your verses are any good. you ask me. You have asked others before this. You send them to magazines. you compare them with other poems, and you are upset when certain editors reject your work. Now I beg you to stop that sort of thing. You are looking outside and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you. No one. there is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. this most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life must become a sign and witness to this impulse.”

I MUST!!!

As I read this quote, deciding to include it in today’s post, I stopped and looked at the individual words that made up each thought. I felt a wild connection and a fierce excitement about how each little word can come together to create something so powerful and meaningful. I was in awe of the written word and I thanked all of this for enriching my life and making it a better place every day.

I know I am lucky to have it, to have the gift of literacy. Where would I be without it? I would be lost.

So on this day and every other I appreciate the fact that I have this most precious entity and I realize that not all my fellow humans on this planet are as lucky as I am. For all the girls and young women around the world who are being denied the chance of literacy I write this. For every child who can not go to school for whatever reason, I speak up here today.

On this important day I owe everything I have to literacy. Go

Here.

I can never thank those enough who brought the gift of literacy into my life.

What does International Literacy Day and literacy in general mean to you? How has it impacted your own life?

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19 thoughts on “Literally

  1. You really have special parents and the way you are giving back is great. It was really a nice story and no matter if your mom was stay at home mom but she fulfilled her every responsibility and gave you wonderful values.

  2. Pingback: Sunday Update: ROW80, Redefining Disability, and Blog Ramblings | Rose B Fischer

  3. Pingback: In-your-face | Her Headache

  4. Pingback: All They’ve Ever Known | Her Headache

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