I am a person with different abilities


Poem by Judith M. LeBlanc, Ph.D.
I am a person
A person with dreams…
A person with goals to accomplish…
A person who wants to succeed in my chosen work…
A person who wants to love and be loved…
A person who want to be accepted and have friends…
A person who wants to be valued for my contributions…
A person who wants opportunities…
To be independent, productive and happy in life.

I am also a person with different abilities…
A person who wants the same things as you.

I do not want to be dependent on others.
I do not want decisions to be made for me.
I do not want to be pitied and treated differently
I only want opportunities to learn
and to demonstrate what I can do.
These few words say everything that people with different abilities want to communicate in this millennium. They demand quality of life equal to that of all others. They demand freedom to make decisions for themselves. They demand education so they can learn to become independent, productive and happy in life. They ask to be accepted for what they can do. In essence, they ask to be treated like everyone else and be included in all aspects of life (home, school, community and workplace).

This requires a change in attitude and expectations of professionals, parents and the community. It requires changes in educational practices. This requires an open door policy to include people with different abilities in every aspect of community life.

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