The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Legacy bushas been touring across the United States for some months as part of the 25th anniversary celebration. The bus travels with important displays about the history of civil rights of people with disabilities in the U.S.
The Legacy Tour bus made one of its stops in Atlanta at the end of May while I was attending the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability (SITD). The SITD participants, people involved in diverse faith community disability inclusion initiatives, posed for a photo with the bus.
Ever gone on a long car trip with your children when one of them breaks the tedium of the road by piping up, “Are we there yet?”
The adorableness of this tyke wears off after they have asked the question three or four times. Your first response, “No honey bug, we’re not,” quickly morphs to a teeth clenching “No!” before you realize that little ones can’t read road maps or the GPS, and really, they are bored, tired of being in the car and maybe a little excited about getting to the destination.
Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared at www.inclusioninnovations.com.
The second cohort of the Jewish Leadership Institute on Disabilities and Inclusion (JLIDI) convenes at the Pearlstone Center near Baltimore for four days of intense study this week. They will be treated to compelling and insightful presentations by our excellent faculty, bond with and learn from each other and have time to reflect on individual leadership challenges.
When I returned from the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities (NLCDD) Leadership Institute, on which the JLIDI is based, in 2009, I was inspired by the concept of Person-Centered Thinking, in which all people have positive control over the lives they have chosen for themselves.
During Yizkor on Yom Kippur, I remember my father, who always made us laugh and I also remember my best friend Carla Meyers, who used to say, “In humor there is truth.”
So when I recently came across this joke in the Joseph Telushkin book Jewish Humor, I recognized the sad truth buried within a joke that causes discomfort in me because it should be so far from reality.
The joke: A Jewish mother is walking down the street with her two young sons. A passerby asks her how old the boys are. “The doctor is three,” the mother answers. “And the lawyer is two.”
We can laugh at the joke, but I do believe that we are ready to move beyond the thinking behind it.
Many would say that my son Jacob, 27, has “special needs.” Jacob would never describe himself that way, although he will tell you he has Asperger syndrome. So because Jake and I, each for our respective obvious reasons, take an intense interest in the semantics of disability, I recently asked him why he thinks people so often apply to him a term that he rejects.