Prior to learning about our discussion of Special Education law and the disability categories we have discussed, I had not known much about the policies, when laws had been enacted, much about how people were treated before the current laws, and much about specific disabilities. I think what we have been discussing recently has provided me a better understanding of what I was hoping to get out of this class having had my experience with Special Olympics, Level and my volunteer work in high school: to have a better understanding of specifics about different abilities.
To address this post: I think something that surprised me a little was how late legislation has been enacted in order to provide services for the differently-abled and how the majority of society (the generations that have come before us) has lived with such things as institutionalization and not freely providing public education for members of our society as the norm. It is a haunting fact that some of the experiences that I have had the privilege of being a part of (meeting people through Level, seeing the joy of the athletes competing in Special Olympics) were not applicable particularly when my parents were growing up and at the same age that I am. Certainly in that time, much has changed for the better, but there is certainly more that needs to be done to provide what is deserved by all. I think that, fortunately, our generation has grown up knowing more about these issues, and I believe for the most part more accepting of people. I believe that it is the job of our generation and those to come to keep pushing for equality for our fellow human beings and continue to be accepting of everyone we meet. We are at somewhat of an advantage not being particularly set in our ways about these issues, and I believe we can really make a difference in the lives of one an other. We are becoming more and more aware of the different abilities we possess, and it is our duty to let them shine and not suffocate them.