As the 20th anniversary of The Americans with Disability Act approaches, today many bloggers are setting aside time to write about an important matter; empowering those with disabilities. You might be wondering, what does it mean to empower people with disabilities? Well, in order to answer this question, let’s start by defining empowerment. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, empowerment is to give power or authority to; authorize. In addition, empowerment is to give ability to; enable; permit. With this said, I believe that in order to empower a person with a disability, there needs to be equal access for all. Access is the key to opportunity, understanding, and most importantly, success. There needs to be equal access to education, employment, housing, technology, etc.
One important way to keep moving society in the direction of more equal access is through advocacy for one’s self and others. Advocacy can be accomplished in many ways, such as spreading awareness. Talking to your family, friends, acquaintances, and state/national legislatures can make a world of a difference. It is a known fact that the more an issue is recognized by others, the more likely the issue will be addressed. Beautifully Blind’s mission is to help empower people through the collaboration between both sighted and blind/visually impaired individuals, awareness, support, and access to assistive technology. If you want to advocate for a specific cause, such as disabilities, it takes one person to make a difference in someone’s life. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”