This I believe

haley - winnipeg beach, Canada
Entered on May 27, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: equality
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I believe that every person has something valuable to offer, even if they have a physical disability. It bothers me when people assume that because somebody is physically disabled that they are mentally disabled.

A friend of mine from school, Leo, is 19 years old and has been in a wheelchair all his life. He still goes to bars, plays hockey, and has many friends. He lives a regular life like everyone else.

Leo often is hard to understand, but that does not mean he is incapable of having a regular conversation. Everyday I see different people assume such things and often they appear awkward and uncomfortable when Leo is talking to them. I wish that people would take the time and patience to listen, because Leo is a really great guy and can carry on conversations like no tomorrow.

A lot of people seem to think that because someone is physically disabled that they can not handle physical activities. Weather someone is physically disabled or not has nothing to do with what they can accomplish. I am a healthy, non-handy capped 16 year old girl and even with the use of my legs, my hockey skills are nothing compared to Leo’s. Who, by the way is the provincial champ in his hockey league.

I hope that reading this makes people realize that every person is special and just because you suffer from a physical disability doesn’t mean that you are any less valuable or have any less to offer.

This I believe.