Hi All, I have missed you! So much to catch up on….
First, did you hear that we elected a new president? Yep, it’s true. January 20th Barack Obama will be sworn in!
Did you hear his speech? This is what he said:
“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.
It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.
It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America….”
See that? See? Right there in front of the whole nation he mentioned people with disabilities. Our community is visible to our new president—and to the country—from the start. How cool is that?
So the question is, of course, what is this “change” going to mean for us? Truth be told, I won’t be happy with just any old change, I want IMPROVEMENT!!!!
And my other question is what are we, the disability community, going to do with all this recognition? This a huge opportunity ripe for some serious leveraging. (Remember, presence-credence-influence!)
So what do we want to gain with all this? I do have some ideas (surprise!) Let’s go for some
-Pursuit of happiness
Now I know that this is a difficult time for our country. I know that the economy and war and other issues will be obstacles.
I also know that we are a community that knows just how to handle obstacles. Obstacles are nothing new for us—we eat them for breakfast (and lunch, and dinner!)
I do believe, if we think and speak and act with intention and with each other—
Oh yes. We can.
(Picture of Barack Obama in red and blue with the word HOPE underneath.)