What Working with People with Disabilities has Taught Me

People with disabilities and their families are the source of inspiration of my career, so essentially they are responsible for teaching me everything.

Throughout the years I have observed countless incidents when families did not have access to (or it did not exist) a technology solution to meet their loved ones needs.  I went into rehab engineering to make an impact on the assistive technology solutions that are available to individuals who need them, and to revolutionize the service delivery process to ensure all individuals have the opportunity to participate in activities that bring meaning to their life.

In the spirit of “paying it forward”, I want to share the top 15 life lessons I personally have gained from serving people with disabilities and their families in my lifetime.

  1. Never underestimate yourself

  2. There is always a solution to the problem, even if it isn’t apparent at first

  3. Don’t be afraid to try and fail

  4. When people work together great things can happen

  5. You can always find a reason to smile

  6. Small accomplishments are still accomplishments

  7. The power of perseverance and what it truly means to be a “fighter”

  8. To always be kind because you have no idea what someone else is struggling with

  9. As a community, inclusion makes us stronger

  10. Regulations that are designed to empower persons with disabilities benefit us all

  11. Compassion is the most important and most powerful attribute a person can posses 

  12. You can learn a lot if you sincerely listen

  13. If you truly believe in something, advocate, advocate, advocate.

  14. There is more good than bad in the world, you may just have to shift your perspective to see it.

  15. We have a long way to go before there is really equal access to life’s activities for persons with and without a disability

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