One thing I know for sure, is that people with intellectual disabilities and their families have a wealth of skills and knowledge to help them through this crisis. We know how to survive if we have to without much help from our communities or our governments. Our biggest strength is always our connections to each other and our ability to make do with what we’ve got.
Most of the time, we focus on thriving. We have big goals, big ideas, big plans. These are important but for now, we will focus on surviving. I know it is painful to practice social distancing after so many years of being distanced by the community, but this time is different. This time, everybody is doing it. This time, in order to be included, we must be secluded.
Be gentle with yourselves. Try to find the moments in your day to show each other how much love is in your heart, even if you don’t have words. Who in your network is lonely? How can you connect with them to tell them they matter to you? If you use social media, it is a good tool to let others know how you are doing or to share your methods of coping. Be honest about your feelings. You can say, “I am lonely. I am sad. I am afraid.” We will not give in to anger. Instead, let us say “I am strong. I am OK.” Or we can ask, “Who needs encouragement? Who needs help?”
If I had to choose one community to depend on to show courage in the face of adversity, it would be ours.
That is how we work,
President, Inclusion International.