September is Self-Improvement Month and today, Sept. 6, is National Read a Book Day. Those two seem to go hand-in-hand.
There is always more to learn and more to understand. Though we pride ourselves on being the most tolerant and the most learned, especially when it comes to disability, there is much about which we are ignorant. Society in general still views people with disabilities as “less than.” We, as a whole, separate — able-bodied in one group and disabled in another. We treat people with disabilities with pity rather than with the same compassion we should treat everyone we meet.
It’s the job of organizations like CLI to not just provide services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but also to educate as best we can. We are in a unique position to spread awareness about the abilities inherent to all people, as well as clarify misconceptions and generate open dialogue about disability.
Disability is still something that remains almost “taboo” to discuss. But conversation breeds education and, by getting that conversation going, we can better inform the public. After all, education leads to understanding, and understanding leads to self-improvement.
We can all make positive changes, and we never stop learning. So this month, whether it’s about disability or a completely different topic, let’s make a promise to ourselves to actively engage in learning. Read a book, watch a documentary, or just start a conversation with someone new. Any engagement is a chance to grow. And what better month than September to work on a bit of self-growth?