By Ana Camelo Jackson
Two years ago, my perspective on diversity and inclusion changed overnight. My two-month-old daughter Eliana was diagnosed with 5p- Syndrome (also known as Cri du Chat syndrome).
What I’ve come to learn through my experiences since then is that disabled people are constantly seen as "less” and the prevailing opinion is that we should feel sorry for them. But we shouldn't feel sorry for people with disabilities. Instead, we should give ourselves a chance to actually get to know someone who is disabled or different.
You’d be surprised about all the things you might have in common, and there is no other way for this to happen than to be in an inclusive environment. Fostering an inclusive environment, whether at school or at work, is something that will enrich the lives of everyone involved.
It's very common for a child to point or stare at someone who is different. As a parent, our typical reaction is to ask them not to point or stare and to look somewhere else. Without even realizing it, we create an environment where we’re pretending that a certain group of people doesn’t even exist. That’s exactly the problem, and a big missed opportunity to start to talk to our kids about our differences.
I encourage you to introduce your kids to the concept of disability. Kids are the future. If we raise them to realize we are all the same, regardless of our differences, we will be one step closer to making this a better world.
Ana Camelo Jackson is the author of the new children’s book “Stripes for Eliana”. Follow the link to order on Amazon or you can buy a copy at the address below!
Stripes for Eliana
Cuentos Publishing $17.99
Centro Médico Miravalle
Río San Juan #103 Colonia Miravalle
Monterrey, NL, 64660