The month of October is National Disability Awareness Month in the U.S. (how can it be October already?!). Actually, as designated by Congress it's National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and anyone who has talked to me about my school and work experiences knows how strongly I feel about disability and level-playing-field accessibility vis-a-vis the common buzzphrase of "diversity."
But, that aside, I'd like to take a moment on this blog to promote real disability awareness - not only in the workplace but everywhere else. All too often, awareness is the crux that allows us to see past our first impressions to grasp a person's true substance and character. And all too often, a "disability" is just something that requires a change in perspective or lifestyle, not a tragic or overbearing handicap.
From my own standpoint, I see my disability not simply as that, a disability, but as one of the strongest shaping forces of my experience. More than anything else, being deaf has allowed me to better understand the things that are important in life, as well as the people who are truly worthwhile. So, in that regard, I can consider myself fortunate - and also obliged to help others find their way, even as I keep experimenting with mine.
Off my soapbox now. But never underestimate the impact of an open, inquiring, yet discerning mind.