By Jon Taylor
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. DDAM 2022’s theme is Worlds Imagined. My initial thoughts around Worlds Imagined were “What Ifs…”
What if every person who had a disability:
- Had a job if they wanted one?
- Went to school where they wanted to?
- Lived where they chose to?
I could go on. You could too. But the longer I asked myself, “What If?”, I realized I was asking the wrong question. “What If?” is wistful. Wishful. Theoretical.
The right question is “Why Not?”. When someone with a disability is told they can’t have the career they’d like, or attend the same classes as their friends, or live where they want to, we all must ask, “Why Not?”. And if the only response is “Because they have a disability”, that’s the wrong answer.
The challenge for Worlds Imagined is simple. Stop asking yourself and others “What If?”. Start asking “Why Not?”. Start asking “Why Can’t We?”.
The bridge to Worlds Imagined to Worlds Realized spans a long chasm. And too many people will tell you that bridge can never be built. And to those people, first we say, “Why Not?”. And we then tell them, “I’ll wait you on the other side”.