The Special Olympics World Games will, for a short period of time, make disability visible. But we should not be persuaded that this is what inclusion looks like, and should continue to fight for greater participation by students with disabilities in our schools, communities, and even our sports leagues.
This week many are celebrating the unprecedented improvements that the Americans with Disabilities Act has brought to the quality of life for millions of people with disabilities in the 25 years since it was signed into law on July 26, 1990. But the work of guaranteeing access to the American dream is far from over.
How could these children -- and adults I also saw there -- be put in shackles, deprived of food and water, and essentially treated worse than animals? And why was there no government oversight of these camps? We visited eight prayer camps and saw similar scenes of people being "treated" for a mental disability detained in Ghana's many unregulated prayer camps.
It's a strange thing, I think, that the voice of people living with disabilities is so rarely heard loudly and clearly, and without judgement. It is even more rare, that so many people who do not consider themselves to have a disability, are so unaware of the thoughts and feelings that come with living with one.
Where does that leave the battle-worn boomers that are still tasked with bringing home the bacon? Have the first forty, fifty, sixty years of life left you with scars that might qualify as disabilities, and if so, will it help or hurt your chances for gainful employment? Will claiming a disability make it easier to keep the job you already have?