I chose to look at orthopedic disabilities for my first disability. An orthopedic disability can be something a person is born with or acquires later in life. It is physical and interferes with daily activities. I loved the videos, especially the one about the man born with no limbs. He has such a wonderful attitude! It makes me realize how much I have to be grateful for also.
I am going to use an example to answer the 2nd two parts of this assignment. For example, a right-handed person who is in an accident and loses use of their right arm will find many things more difficult. They might not be able to button their shirt and writing with their left hand will be hard for them. It will make work in school much harder for them. They will also have a hard time cutting their food with one arm, so they might need help. They also would not be able to carry their books and open the doors at the same time. They might also be down, because they lost something they once had.
I think we can include them in all or our activities. I also think we can help them by opening doors, taking notes for them in class, and carrying their tray at lunch. I think they will need a lot of encouragement, and all of us girls to keep them from feeling self-pity. They are still valuable people and children of G-d. It is our job to help them in any way we can and to help them reach their full potential.
I chose Down Syndrome for my second disability, since I know someone in the community with Down Syndrome. According to the National Down Syndrome Society, Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder where a person is born with 3 copies of the 21st chromosome instead of the normal 2. It gives the child a greater risk for heart problems and hearing problems, among other things. It is also the most common cause of mental retardation (intellectual disabilities). They may appear different from other people, with the slanted eyes people associate with Down Syndrome. They also have great strengths which we should not ignore. It is also important to remember that their neshama (soul) is not damaged by the genetic defect.
"I think it would be very frustrating to try and do things the way I'm told to do them and not understand that way. I would not like people treating me like I'm stupid just because I see things differently. I think it would be a nice change of pace to be treated like a Human and not singled out because of what people think is my disability.
"I think interacting with a person who has down syndrome would be like being with everyday people. They just don't see everything the same way other people do. Maybe I would need to explain things more simply or use simpler concepts to talk about what I want to say, but that doesn't mean that I would treat them differently on a social level. They may have to do things a little differently but the end result is the same or similar to what we would do.
"I think the video showing the people with down syndrome expressing their dreams shows that they can dream about the future and make plans like everyone else. They show many ideas and goals for their futures. If we limited their education or their interactions in society we could lose out on many things they can offer as individuals. The video is a good example of how we need to see people for who they are and not for their label." (Shoshana Payne, personal communication, July 7, 2010)