As you know, October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month. If you don’t know what both of these are, let me set the stage for you.
National Disability Employment Awareness (NDEAM) focuses on employees with disabilities and including those with Down Syndrome, have in organizations across the country. In October we identify the opportunity in promoting more options for employment for those that are differently abled in the workforce from the beginning of the pandemic.
I feel like this is very important because we are just like everyone else in the community. We want to be able to find meaningful, competitive jobs and of course being of value. Being able to be a part of the workforce today. We are an asset to the company we work for. We want to be able to show our talents.
Personally, I feel like I am being included in the workforce being among my colleagues. The National Down Syndrome Society walked the walk and talked the talk when they hired me on almost 4 years ago as Manager of Grassroots Advocacy. I am the 1st registered lobbyist with Down Syndrome which makes me feel very determined to be able to make a change in the Differently abled world and community having a voice to people who absolutely need it. I hope that I am making a change when I talk to Members of Congress trying to get them to pass bills that are very crucial to us today.
As previously stated, October is Down Syndrome Awareness month this where we recognize everyone with Down Syndrome and letting others aware of our abilities and how accomplished we can be. I like to use the term Differently abled because I always feel like the (dis) in front of disability is disrespectful in my own words as which conflicts with the wording of retard. (I hate that word, in my own opinion shouldn’t be in the human language) handicapped which is also poor or IDD and to me it’s too scientific. I feel like we are differently abled in our way.
Other people are just like you and me. One of my personal sayings we all wear our pants the same way one leg at a time. We all want the same dreams, wants and needs just like everyone else. We are more alike than different. On a personal level, I go to college, I can drive a car, maintain an awesome job as the Manager of Grassroots Advocacy but better known as the 1st registered lobbyist with Down Syndrome. We want to date, have a boyfriend and hopefully get married someday. Basic human needs that we all have. We want to live the American Dream just like every other person.
I have lots of friends who are differently abled, and they do incredible things every day. My friend Byron who can sing like nobody’s business, my friend Carrie she is a Zumba instructor and she rocks at it. My friend Johnny, he self-taught himself how to play the bagpipes. My friend Danny, who is very talented on the guitar. He is very good. We always strive to do our best and our hardest that is all anyone asks of us. This is why we have October has Down Syndrome Awareness month.
I like to wrap this blog up by saying don’t squash our dreams and nothing about us without us!