Twenty four years ago my son, Jacob, was born with hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. After several surgeries, doctors told us Jacob would be living with both physical and intellectual disabilities. They also told us not to expect much of Jacob in terms of his ability to participate in civic life, community life and in work. And they plunged us into what I now call the “The Tyranny of Low Expectations.”
MS affects more than 2.3 million worldwide.
If you have met one person with multiple sclerosis (MS), than you have met one person with MS — as no two people’s experiences are the same. MS is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to walking difficulties, fatigue, dizziness, pain, depression, blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted.
We know that we need to provide accommodations for individuals with disabilities in the application process, but how about accessibility? Is it really necessary to go that far?
Consider the following example. To make a restroom accessible, we would want to make it large enough for a wheelchair and provide handrails. We would adjust the toilet roll holder to the proper height and install automatic flushing. We might even provide a button to the side of door, to make it easier to open.
I had the great opportunity to attend the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) national conference, an annual meeting of companies with a demonstrated commitment to a disability-inclusive workplace. As always, the event was a very fitting prelude to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.