Pushing past the world of prejudice

It occurred to me the other day that the mindset others have about people with disabilities might be antiquated. We are now in 2011, and the disabled population has overcome many obstacles since the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. They are not a population that is taking up space or sucking up taxpayer dollars. There are some people with disabilities, which due to the severity of their disability, are mostly at home with not much to do. However, this is not generally the case.

This is my third time at UCF, having already earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science, and I have been disabled since birth due to cerebral palsy. I never thought that ignorance and fear would still be perpetrated in this day and age, especially in an educational atmosphere. I have been successful in past jobs, contributing to the community and have even helped others who are disabled achieve their goals.

It’s a shame to me to read text that states the disabled cannot succeed in life. This is so far from the truth. People fear the unknown just because it is unfamiliar to them. When you expose people who are not disabled to this type of material, it makes them fear things that may or may not be there.

This is not the right approach to take on this issue. People who are disabled just have to accomplish things in life differently than those who are not disabled. A disabled child or adult is not a lost cause just because of the obstacles he or she faces in everyday life. I have known many people with disabilities who have had successful careers, families and lives. These people are not a burden to society. I, for one, have gotten married, own my own home, am currently starting a family and am embarking on a new career.

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