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Inclusion, Ability and Opportunity

October 12, 20141 Comment

The Engage Disability Conference

Last week, I spent 4 days sitting in a room in Delhi, full of local men and women who are much smarter than me, more educated than me, much older than me and therefore, way more experienced than I am.

I was in good company.

The topic was on individuals with disability - engagement, inclusion, response.

Heads of societies and non-profits from all over India gathered to discuss the issues at hand.

Words of my guru, Jesus, were put up on a big screen to discuss His perspective.

I was challenged.  Once again. 

Disabilities and Abilities

We all have disabilities.

If you knew me, you'd know that I have many.

Those disabilities vary from person to person, but we are all broken in our own ways.

Likewise, every human has ability.

I've yet to meet someone in my life that doesn't have SOMETHING to offer society.

In fact, those people in my life who have an obvious disability often seem to have MORE to offer society than those of us whose disabilities are more hidden.

Inclusion and Justice

Inclusivity of all will turn heads.

Look at the life of Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Teresa.

If we truly want to see change, we must not only engage, but include individuals who are marginalized and oppressed by society.

"Movements are always started on the margins." – Jaya Kumar 

Work is Redemptive

I had the privilege of speaking at the Engage Disability conference, about Job Creation and Vocational Training.

I became so passionate I almost jumped off the stage.

I believe that we were all created to work.  I believe that it is redemptive.  I believe that every person will be more whole, fuller, more joyful, when given the ability to give back.

Whether you are an artist, a craftsman, a home maker, a brick layer, an electrician, a scientist, a teacher - your work brings you dignity, purpose, meaning.  Work is more than a paycheck.

The first man ever created was designed to work.  Even prior to the fall, when brokenness and disability entered this world, Adam worked.  We were created this way.

Unemployable is a bad word  

I desire to never have to turn someone down for a job, no matter how great their disability.

We should welcome the challenge to find an individual's abilities and help them give back to society - it is each person's right.

I don't care if it makes good business sense or not, it’s the right thing to do and each of us that own businesses should challenge ourselves to find work for those who need the opportunity, no matter how great the challenges.  My team and I desire to continue to grow JOYN, so that we can offer more people the dignity of work.

Please spread the word about us - www.joynindia.com

1 Response

Julie Smith
Julie Smith

October 14, 2014

Thank you for sharing!

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