American Disability Act: Working Toward Welcome and Dignity for All

“His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.” (John 9:2-3).

“What’s wrong with her?” the woman asked me as I helped my friend who has a disability wash her hands in the movie theater restroom. “Not a thing,” I said. “What’s wrong with you?”

This incident occurred in 1996 when I was living and working within a community of people with disabilities in the L’Arche Daybreak Community. I admit that the words I spoke to the woman in the restroom weren’t kind. They were spoken in anger and frustration and just plain resentment of all the times I had dealt with such “ignorant” people – people who treated my friends with intellectual disabilities as if they were objects to be talked about instead of persons to be addressed, who pointed, or stared, or turned away in disgust because someone drooled, or made odd noises, or uncontrolled gestures.

Read the full article and watch Lisa Cataldo’s interview with Jean Vanier on The Huffington Post