When you think of the word disability, many think of people as having something wrong with them. In the book Wonder, the boy Auggie, says everyone stares at him and laughs. Merriam Webster’s definition of disability is: “A physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition that impairs, interferes with, or limits a person's ability to engage in certain tasks or actions or participate in typical daily activities and interactions.” If you think about it, we could all be considered to be disabled. We have the mental condition that impairs our ability to accept “disabled” people in our society.
Becci Ingram was just one person who helped people see beyond the label “disability”. When Becci was born with Down Syndrome in London, England, her doctor suggested her parents to give her away and have another child. Luckily, they decided not to make that choice. Becci was an original member of “The All Star C.A.S.T”, a group that after 25 years, extended to several groups around the country. They made an award winning documentary film which received much national publicity and has helped to educate the public on recognizing the importance of creative work in education and understanding and informing disabilities. Becci also wrote her own poem called “People Like Me”. Becci died in 2000, at age 26. In her life, Becci wrote over 80 plays, some of which got Emmys. Becci is still celebrated as an actor, writer and person overall.
Have you ever heard of Arunima Sinha? She was the first Indian, and female amputee to climb Mount Everest. Despite her amputation, she was able to accomplish one of the most grueling tasks that is known to mankind. She did something most “normal” people could never achieve. So why do we stare at people because they are different, when we are all the same...HUMAN.
Story by Margaret Derry