Oct 2, 201201:54 PMCity Beat
Capital Opinion by Michael A. Sand, Jacqueline G. Goodwin and others.
Special Central Pennsylvanians: Theo Braddy
Theo Braddy, Executive Director of the Center for Independent Living, is a champion of all individuals with a physical or mental disability.
In our society, discrimination based on totally irrelevant factors such as race or gender is commonplace, and in some cases, illegal. Theo Braddy is one who believes that there should be no discrimination against those with physical or mental disabilities, as well as the fact that the mistreatment of individuals who are blind or persons who use wheelchairs is morally reprehensible.
Theo says that, “Disability occurs when a person is excluded, because of their impairment, from something that other people take for granted.”
He implores our society to “enable the disabled.” - Build buses with room and access for wheelchairs, put curb cuts on streets, provide sign language interpreters for meetings, tape meetings to assist individuals who are blind. Hire persons with disabilities.
But Theo goes further.
“We are all impaired,” he told a recent meeting of the Dauphin County Diversity Forum.
Some of us are impaired at a younger age. We have bad eyesight or poor hearing; we might have a learning disability or a speech problem.
And then we all get older. Maybe we will need a knee or hip replacement. We might have to walk with a cane or a walker. Our hearing fails; our eyesight dims. Sooner or
later, each of us may be impaired in some manner or at the very least, face physical limitations.
Personally, I feel it important that throughout our lives we try and treat individuals with disabilities with dignity and respect. My hope is we consider ways we can improve the way we treat others with disabilities.
If we wait until we get old, it may be too late.