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2020 has definitely been an unusual year. It has made me more thankful for things which I previously took for granted. This week is the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. In this article, I will reflect on several things which I am thankful for from a disability perspective.
One thing I am thankful for is the ability to communicate. Although I am blind, my other senses are available to me. I can hear what others have to say, providing verbal or written responses. It is worth noting that people with different disabilities may communicate in different ways. For example, I found this
video: “Non-verbal girl with Autism speaks through her computer”.
As the video makes clear, typing gives the young girl a voice. She can express her thoughts and feelings. In contrast, this
video: “Dialogue with the Deaf in Health Care”
makes clear that someone who is deaf may need a face-to-face translator. As a final communication example demonstrating communication needs of people with various disabilities, I share the
video: “Program Helps Deaf-blind Access Technology”.
The video focuses on
a national program which provides specialized assistive technology so that Americans who are Deaf-Blind can communicate with the world. Ultimately, communication is possible if each person finds a way which works for them individually. I am also thankful for the ability to learn.
It is a simple fact that no-one knows everything. Different people learn in different ways, whether due to a disability or learning style. As a person who is blind, I learn best through listening and written information. Those are the learning styles which work for me. Whatever methods you use to learn, I encourage readers to educate themselves. There are a number of learning opportunities online. One example is
“ADA Audio Conference Series”.
This resource is provided by the Great Lakes ADA Center in Illinois. In addition to a
schedule of upcoming sessions,
there is also an
of past sessions. You will also find on the ADA Audio home page links for specific topics such as
I consider the Great Lakes ADA Center to be a valuable learning resource because they have so many sessions available. Another learning opportunity is the variety of
online courses from the Southeast ADA Center.
These courses are self-paced, with registration required for each one. Participants complete the courses on their schedule. At time of writing, I am in the middle of a course. The convenience of on-demand courses is I can work through them without needing to rush. I suggest checking out the variety of learning resources referenced above and search for other online training opportunities. A final thing I am thankful for is the ability to share knowledge with others.
I enjoy sharing disability-related information. In fact, it is a primary reason I have added to my blog more frequently during the past year. I’m thankful for the ability to share information because it might help someone else learn something or acquire a useful resource. I suggest that anyone reading this who has a Facebook account, is a person with a disability and has a blog check out
“The Federation of Disabled Bloggers”.
As the name implies, this group is for bloggers who have disabilities to share their blogs with others. Bottom line: I encourage everyone to communicate, learn and share!
Question for readers: What are you thankful for this year? I shall return with another article.