I an not sure what has drawn me to work with people with Special Abilities but I always have. I currently run a martial arts school that has a specialty class for people with challenges. The organization I am a part of calls the division “Special Abilities.”
I have been in business 20 years and have long lost track of how many unique individuals have trained in my school. I have always approached life with the belief that ALL people should be treated equally and differences should be embraced not ignored. I also believe that no obstacle is permanent but rather needs to be problem solved.
I started my professional life as an Ivy League Masters prepared social worker (MSW – UPenn) and feel as though I do my best work now with my black belt on.
Housing and Health
Personally I battle an auto immune disease that causes lots of pressure in my joints and lack of range of motion, but otherwise do not have issues with physical lack of access. Affordability to services etc, is more of an issue for me and for my clients past and present. Our health care system is broken, and access to ANYTHING needed secondary to limits resulting from a disability, limits or health problem is totally unacceptable. Physical obstacles not only result in limiting access but also result in psycho-social effects that few people think are important. This ignorance often is more detrimental then the actual physical limits in my opinion.