I recently sat down with my family to watch a collection of Christmas cartoons and movies, a holiday tradition that I’m sure many of you share. Among our family favorites are the classics A Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty the Snowman, as well as a few newer ones such as a Trolls Holiday and Shrek the Halls. While those films are near and dear to our family, no holiday collection could possibly be complete without the 1964 timeless classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
So this past weekend we all snuggled up to the screen with some hot cocoa and once again watched the story of Rudolph, a misfit reindeer navigating through the scrutiny and challenges of adolescence. But on this particular viewing, I just couldn’t stop thinking about our job here at Disability Solutions and our mission towards changing minds and changing lives.
Fears, Stigmas and Misconceptions
Rudolph did indeed have a very shiny nose and sixty-eight years ago when his parents discovered this odd feature, they did all they could to hide it. As we all know he was called names, was excluded from all the games and his dad (and even Santa) questioned his worth. And when Rudolph nails his trial run as a potential Santa reindeer, both the coach and Santa dismiss him once they discover his red nose and the sound it makes.
The tale of Rudolph reminds me of the so many jobseekers with disabilities who have been immediately disqualified from an opportunity based on the assumption of their abilities, all based on misconception. As an example, we recently worked with a woman in a wheelchair who knew she was being disqualified from job opportunities immediately after rolling in to her interview, despite her obvious skills and abilities. Even as we sit, ready to start 2018, there are still so many fears and stigmas that surround the millions of people with disabilities.
Talent is Talent
Luckily for the woman in the wheelchair, her story had a happy ending, as we were able to help guide her to a wonderful opportunity with a great and supportive company that understands that talent is talent. And as for Rudolph? As you may recall, when the storm approaches and the rest of the reindeers can’t see their way to guide Santa’s sleigh, we see Rudolph turn his disability into his ability and save Christmas.
Our Disability Solutions team, day in and day out, are constantly educating friends, family, strangers and our clients (employers) on the value of the talent found in people with disabilities. And as we pass through the holiday season and into 2018, Disability Solutions aims to be that light that leads our clients and everyone we meet in our way, to see the potential in people with disabilities.