Monday, January 19, 2009


"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Well, we got it right.


But the first time opens the pathway making the next time easier, more likely, less painful.

And once again we have firm evidence that the "we could nevers" and the "that's impossibles" and the "that's unrealistics" are NOT real barriers. They are only barriers as long as we allow them to be. (Do read my post about being unrealistic--it's one of my favorites!)

We know it. We live in an age of amazing breakthroughs on every front. How can we look at anything and call it impossible?? We can't.

We can say we don't know how (yet).... we can say we don't want to... but we cannot say "that's impossible" in 2009 and retain any credibility.

I believe Barack Obama in yesterday's speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial extended Martin Luther King's Dream beyond skin color, mentioning disability by name (once again--and yes, I am counting!)


Access to
-Community events and activities (and inaugurations!)
-Citizenship (ie: membership, belonging, contributing)
-Economic opportunity

Challenging? Sure. Difficult? Sometimes. Stressful? At times.

Possible? Once we decide to do it.

Necessary? If our country is going to live up to the mission and vision our Founding Fathers laid before us, yes indeed.

When my son was 6 or 7 he was a science-fiend. He was particularly fascinated with the rain forests and with life under the ocean. One day there was an announcement of some amazing discoveries in both places... My son wept. He was so sure there would be nothing left for him to discover when he grew up.

Well, the good news, for him and for us, is that there is PLENTY for us to do. Our gifts are needed. There is plenty of room for growth, for expansion, for us to reach together to create new opportunities and to grow as communities and as a country.

And as my friend Kathy told me on the worst, rainiest, muddiest, coldest, dankest church camping trip ever, "The worse the weather and the harder the task, the greater the teambuilding."

So, in summary: There is much to do. Nothing is impossible. Your gifts are essential. We are going to be friends.

Works for me! How about you?

For more on MLK and disability see:
Gary Presley
Big Noise
Wheelie Catholic
Pipecleaner Dreams
Wheelchair Dancer

Pictures from here and here. Please note that both of these speeches happened at the Lincoln Memorial. And the quote is from here.
Special Needs Truth 2008 (not MLK, just a wow!)


Wheelie Catholic said...

I linked to this post. It blew me away, Terri.

Let's all work together toward a society that will give pwd our civil rights.

terena said...

This is excellent. I too will link to this post tomorrow.

Terri said...

Thank you, Ladies. We need to go forward into these challenge and opportunity charged times with our eyes wide open!

Civil Rights must not be optional.

Jackie said...

Hi Terri,

I just couldn't believe it you guys who live in a developed country are still shouting about accessible issues!

I am a disabled Malaysian. There remain a lot to be desired as far as accessibility issues are concerned.

Terri said...

Yes, Jackie, we find it hard to believe ourselves! We are working on it. We will not stop working on it.