My Daughter Is Going To College!

A couple reflections on today: instead of ‘disability services,’ if you have a disability you go to an office called ‘access services.’ This is a big deal!! The language is changing and becoming more inclusive, and less stigmatized. Pretty soon I hope we get rid of the term ‘special education.’ Because my daughter has partial paralysis due to cerebral palsy, and has trouble getting around (uses a crutch, walker, or wheelchair), we asked about how much time we should allow between classes. The staff was very helpful and said the time we allotted should be fine and that we can talk to the professors to let them know that a little extra time may be needed. The fact that she is going to college is monumental. When she was born, not only did I have the right to ask to keep her alive, but I was listened to, as a young, poor, single mother, with a child with a Mexican father. Then she had great care, and has had access to the best of education. The community has been truly great. And for this, we have many people to thank — for all of the work that has been done to accept disability, value people with disabilities enough to not only save them, but treat them with dignity and respect, forge inclusive medical care, community supports, and education, and so much more. The fact that my kid is going to college is a testament to decades of work by advocates. We are benefiting because of the work that you have done, and we are deeply appreciative and honored. Moments like these, where we recognize that our collective accomplishments really do make a difference, are fuel for the fire to keep the movement alive and growing. Let’s keep fighting for equality for people with disabilities. By now, most of us know someone with a disability. Maybe we are parents, siblings, friends, or neighbors. Let’s not leave anybody out, and let’s continue to level the playing field for everyone to achieve their dreams!!

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