by Ned Stoller Ned Stoller

Society has led many to believe that people with disabilities are somehow inferior – that they are not capable of thriving in our world.  A common belief is that the only kind of job a disabled person can manage is a desk job – sitting behind a computer all day.  This is not true at all.  Every day, people with missing limbs and chronic illnesses go to work at their skilled jobs – they don’t let anyone tell them they aren’t capable.

These are the people we are here for.  The ones who want to work.  There is a lack of workers in the trades.  This is because there are few people with the skills and dedication required to do these jobs.  We have tools to help those that become disabled, so they can keep working where they are needed.

I was told the story of a lobsterman in Maine.  The difference between him and other captains was the way he got to his spot – by wheeling himself down to a wharf, then putting himself in a sling and being lowered into his boat attached to the wharf’s boom and cable. Then he immediately went to work. Being paraplegic, he couldn’t quite get to his chair the way someone else would, but he got there, and he was able to do his job just as well – if not better – than anyone else could. One can do just about anything if he or she sets his or her mind to it.  The “I can’t” attitude won’t get anyone very far.