This is a question that deserves much pondering. Often, we look around and we readily can see the discrepancies of all people living in the world, or at least we think we do. For a moment let’s consider where the lives of the mentally challenged “matter” in our community.
My daughter is a 40-year-old young lady with Down Syndrome who lives in a community group home environment where she receives great care and unconditional love. She is well aware of her rights and is learning the responsibilities that go along with having certain rights. She is bright, well-mannered and has been educated by the public school systems both in Winchester and Clarke County. But unfortunately, all of these positive attributes have not helped her gain meaningful employment in Frederick County, Winchester City, Warren County or Clarke County. These individuals have job coaches that stay with them on the job to train, mentor and work with the company leaders to make them successful employees.
She goes to the library with her job coaches and learns to fill out applications and resumes, which she sends to local businesses. Sometimes she gets called for an interview and is told she will receive a call back or sometimes she is on an interview and is left sitting for as long as two hours waiting for someone to come and interview her, which never happens. She and her job coach leave those businesses without as much as an acknowledgment.