I look forward every year to celebrating Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.
As a person with a disability, I understand the everyday challenges we face. Having a disability can be difficult, especially when you have some who refuse to see your worth and a system that’s forced a value on fairness. It’s a much better situation when people conclude that equality is for all, not just for some. It’s then they have the ah-ah moment and begin to see the bigger picture.
One of the issues of inequality is in the work place. There is a disparity for individuals with disabilities seeking gainful employment. Some individuals believe that persons with disabilities do not need to work, because they receive government assistance. Well, I am here to say that most persons’ with disabilities do not want to just sit at home all day. It has always been an up hill battle for all, including myself, but COVID-19 has intensified the issue.
After years of searching for employment, I finally landed a job at a place that I liked at Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley. They granted me the opportunity to grow and let me be “ME”. I have been with Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley (GESMV) for 18 years, but when Covid hit, the financial strain of all 32 Goodwill Stores closing, caused many staff members to be furloughed, including myself. Although I was assured of my rehiring, which yes, I am back now at GESMV, I couldn’t help think during this time what other people with disabilities were going through.
Not many positive affirmations have come out of this pandemic, but it did shine a light on the issue of employment for people with disabilities (among other issues that I will share later).
As we continue to deal with the pandemic, we must still celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month for all the past, present and future accomplishments we’ve made and are going to make. Hopefully, some of the struggles such as employment for people with disabilities can be dealt with and solved so we can keep on our journey to greatness.