Does anyone miss Jerry Lewis? I definitely grew up with the Labor Day telethon. I eventually found other things to do on Labor Day, or maybe I had 300 more TV channels to select from. But, I recently learned that the disability community found the telethon very offensive because the children were portrayed as someone to be pitied. It seemed horrifying, but very true.
Another recently learned bit of information was; disability is a club anyone can join at anytime, so I better pay attention. I'm so proud of my son for deciding on Biomedical Engineering as a course of study and future career. This will be an even more vital profession as more people live full lives with disabilities enhanced by biomedical engineered devices. The number of people with disabilities is increasing. How can this be? Medical advances, healthy lifestyles? Well, we are living longer and we can survive more injury and disease with the advancements of science. This is never more true than in our military.
Finally, I'm learning about hidden vs visible disability. Everyone my son meets at MSOE may or may not have a disability and he may never know. But I hope he gets to know everyone as a person first. I hope everyone gets to know him as a person and that he makes lifelong friends.
If the higher education of people with disabilities is something that interests you, I'm part of the group developing and soon implementing a free Massive Open Online Course called Perspectives on Disability. It's really enlightening. Register at http://j.mp/niumooc13.