It is incredible to see how people with disabilities are being included and advocated for now, compared to how they have been treated and excluded in the past. The work is not done yet; there are still many ways to improve the quality of life and opportunities available for people with disabilities in Ethiopia.
My daughter would come home sad everyday. She would cry every week. We would have pep talks regularly, but I could not mend her broken heart. I could not take back the words kids said to my child. Her loneliness haunted me. As a mother, I was watching a child dying on the inside. It was like watching a beautiful flower wilting in the cold.
When I discovered that my daughter was having a hard time adjusting to school a few years back, I did everything I could to make sure she understood that making friends was an easy task. If I learned something from my life, it's that we have some of our worst experiences as kids, so that we can grow up with thick skins and deal with the adult world.
Innoversity is a not-for-profit organization that has spent the past 13 years struggling with some success "to create opportunities for cultural minority, Aboriginal and disabled Canadians to actively engage with, and be reflected within, key social sectors and institutions." That's institution-speak for fighting racism and all the other isms that still stain our society, particularly our media.
For the most part, the education system has done its job. Beginning at the elementary and secondary level, students with disabilities have been given access to support and services that have allowed them, not only to participate in the education process, but to increasingly be successful. But now, it's up to employers to open their doors to the disabled.