The University of Delaware Center for Disabilities recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. Held at Clayton Hall, “Educate—Connect—Empower”-themed event included a reception, speeches from community leaders and a video of people who benefitted from the organization.
One of the speakers, Keith P. Jones, talked about his cerebral palsy, his wheelchair, and how they affect his daily life within a community. He explained that the general assumption is usually that he is incapable of making his own decisions, managing his own schedule, and traveling unsupervised.
He explained that instead of feeling insulted, people like him need to accept that “we can’t just change policy, we have to change attitudes.” In an effort to promote this message, Jones works as CEO of SoulTouchin’ Experiences, an organization dedicated to inclusion.
“People don’t expect us to dream the same dreams,” he added. “What they don’t appreciate is that our dreams aren’t different than anyone else’s, we just take a different road to get there.”
“Individuals with disabilities deserve the same future as everyone else. They deserve social justice. CDS understands this. They have made a difference in the lives of hundreds of people over the years. Not only for people who have come through your doors, but the people who can now become an integral part of the community.”
“Our humanity is not defined by our disability. It should not be considered ‘progressive’ to want to live the American dream. It is our right.”