As fast as the political campaigning began, it ended. To be honest, I’m happy the barrage of political ads that seemed to envelope the media has ended. What a difference a few days can make. However, even though the elections are over; our work has just begun. There are very important issues confronting our country today, especially the fiscal cliff, which is right around the corner. So, it’s important for us to consider the question, “Will we reach out to our legislators locally, statewide and nationally?”
As an educator, advocate and mom, I’m asking you to speak up in support of children and adults with disabilities. The challenges facing families, educators and communities caring for children and adults with disabilities are immense. Unless we keep them on the forefront, we are sure to see cutbacks in service and changes in service-delivery. And with roughly 1 in 5 Americans with a disability, the results have the potential to be disastrous.
You may have a child with autism, physical disability or know an adult with special needs. You may not. Whether or not you do, you can advocate for them. You can stand alongside their families and with their teachers. Without your support, their cause will be forgotten.
My hope today is that we begin the work of finding common ground by trying to understand one another’s perspectives and talking, listening and hearing one another. When we work for the children in our communities, we find our way back to common ground. We can bridge the red and blue divide by working together to strengthen the nation as a whole. Because it’s who we are – one nation – with liberty and justice for all.
How can you become an advocate?
Check out organizations such as Autism Speaks, the Northwest Pennsylvania Autism Society (NWPA-ASA), or Best Buddies Pennsylvania .