Seeing possibility, not disability—Paul’s story.

2 Feb

I grew up a few doors from Paul in North Platte, Nebraska. I saw him every Saturday morning at our local bowling alley. He was in a league with folks with disabilities. My league shared the bowling alley.

I don’t ever remember Paul talking to anyone. I saw no evidence of expressive communication skills.

He did have some receptive communication skills, responding to things such as “it’s your turn to bowl, Paul.”

Although he couldn’t communicate very well, Paul was a remarkable bowler.

The pins were no match for his skill.

Paul was better than most at the Cedar Bowl.

To be sure, Paul had an intellectual disability.

But he also had a talent.

I keep thinking about how many times we miss the talents of people like Paul.

Can we see the possibility in folks like Paul instead of the disability?

Can we find ways for folks like Paul to apply their talents to our workplace and, in doing so, revel in having a job and making a contribution?

Folks with disabilities were some of the first who lost jobs this last year and will struggle more than most to return to work. We must act to buck this trend.

Let’s commit to creating workplaces that work for everyone.

#inclusion #disability

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