- - Tuesday, December 1, 2015


This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which ensures that students with disabilities have access to a free and appropriate public education in the same manner as all other children. My beautiful daughter Chloe was born in 2003 with a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Thanks to IDEA she is attending seventh grade at her neighborhood school with typical peers and reading at grade level. Furthermore, people focus on her abilities.

When I tune into the nightly news I often wonder who the disabled ones are in this culture. Anger and hatred are spreading like a fatal virus as people lose their humanity and embrace death, deception and depravity. As I watch Chloe and how she interacts and treats others, I realize that she represents what we should all be striving for as human beings. Chloe has no malice or evil and will never intentionally hurt someone. Chloe will never start a war, go on a shooting spree, blow herself up, spread lies, sell drugs, or be filled with greed. Chloe has taught many people priceless messages that this culture desperately needs about unconditional love, purity, innocence and real joy. If the world was populated with individuals like Chloe we would need no police, no military and no prisons. This makes me ask again, Who are the disabled ones?

As we celebrate IDEA, my hope is that we who are labeled typical will strive to be more like those we classify as disabled. What an awesome world that would be.



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