Take me higher, let me flourish, let me grow.
Skills, talent waiting to be recognized,
just waiting for the chance to be the star of my show.
Disability does not mean inability, which not all realize,
So, did you know?
Millions with disabilities waiting in the shadows,
Waiting to hear yes, and not no.
Say yes to access and opportunity.
Say yes, give the green light to go.
October is Disability Employment Awareness Month, and the theme this year is, “Access and Opportunity.” For those of you who are aware, this theme is very fitting, as millions of disabled Americans don’t have access and opportunity to employment. Barriers can include discrimination or transportation, to name a few.
In terms of myself, my lack of employment opportunities was due to discrimination. It took me 6 years to attain my first job after graduate school, compared to a lot of my non-disabled peers, to which it took months to attain employment. What led me to believe I was discriminated agains was because potential employers openly told me that they “didn’t know how it would work out.” No matter how much I tried to advocate for myself by giving plausible solutions to their concerns, I never gained a callback. I didn’t disclose my blindness in the initial screenings for this exact fear.
A fear that is very much real for many, and must stop. Access and opportunity should provide a person with a level playing field. A place where they can show their skills and qualifications. A place where they can have the same chance to excel as their non-disabled counterparts. Say yes to access and opportunity for all!