It has been stated that you are never too old to learn! I think that this project is the perfect example of that for me. When I began to plan for Ana Leu’s project at the Institute for Community Research and Training at the College of Saint Rose, my thoughts drifted to the fact that I had been working on issues of disability for over 40 years. One more time would be interesting but probably not so “new” that it would generate the energy that I had felt earlier in my career. I am somewhat embarrassed but also pleased to say that I was wrong. What I experienced was a new energy on the part of the people that I met in Timisoara at the universities, in NGO’s that I visited and in talking to people that I met. We talked about the past, the barriers that were faced, and debated the challenges for the future. To a person, the message was clear. The time is right for change, to break down the barriers and to move forward. The Framework for Inclusion is the first step in that process of change and the inclusion of persons with all types of disABILITIES in the educational process. It is just the beginning of a movement to make sure that every person has the same rights to access opportunities that will improve not only their lives but the rights of others in the community as well.
My title for this piece was Some thoughts from an outsider looking in! But in fact I no longer feel that way. I am no longer an outsider, but I have a major stake in the outcome of this process as well. New energy – ABSOLUTLEY !
Community Solutions Program Mentor
International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)