The following passage is taken from a very good friend of mine who, for a project at school, gave a speech on education about persons with disability. I wanted to share this with all of you because it made me proud when I read this (hope she doesn’t mind me sharing):
What would you do if a doctor said that you wouldn’t live out the week but could not firmly diagnose you? Monica Zaring, a 24-year-old little person with a rare type of dwarfism faced this predicament as a child. To this day Monica is frustrated at the lack of information about her condition; an issue she believes schooling can fix. Education on disabilities should be mandated nationwide. Education would increase awareness of the challenges disabled people face, lead to more research on disabilities, improve the lives of those dealing with disabilities, and provide the nation with a humbling perspective on the gift of life.
Nearly 54 million Americans live with disabilities, so why are Americans so ignorant when it comes to this population? Health classes nationwide instruct on hazards of smoking, but few discuss challenges produced by disabilities. Lack of instruction is the origin of the lack of research. Little research has been done on Monica’s dwarfism; she is 24 and only recently found doctors who are interested in disabilities enough to conduct this research. Mandating education on disabilities will increase the number of students and doctors interested in doing research on disabilities, because as Helen Keller said, “knowledge is love and light and vision.” If people know more about disabilities it will promote interest and the pursuit of research.
Think about activities you do on a regular basis, like turning on a light switch. Now, think about doing that with a 3’6 stature and brittle bones. Monica and others deal with difficulties like this numerous times each day of their lives. Education on disabilities would raise awareness of these challenges; making them more accepted in society. Monica is like and alien per peoples’ stares; general knowledge on dwarfism would lessen these feelings. Education on hardships faced by the disabled is the key to the future; with this door open, the disabled population will finally be recognized and treated with the respect and admiration they deserve.
Pride ends in a fall, while humility brings honor. At a young age Monica decided not to let adversity push her down. She is always smiling; she is always laughing. While we complain about everything Monica remains upbeat. Monica and other people facing disabilities are heroes. Their stories are insightful paths into the hallowed heart of humility. Education on the challenges disabled Americans deal with would put the gift of life into perspective for the nation.
For these reasons, mandating education on disabilities is essential for our nation. Disabled people need our help and it starts with learning about their conditions to lead to increased research, better the lives of the disabled, and become a more humble nation. Let’s stand together on this issue and mandate education on disabilities. It is amazing what determination can do, just ask Monica Zaring, Bellarmine Class of 2011, a success no mater how you measure it.