"To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." Isaiah 61:3

The Burckhard Family

The Burckhard Family

Friday, March 20, 2009

Advocating all the way to the White House!

When I started this journey into the world of disabilities nine years ago, I knew that it would be up to me to advocate for my daughter and others with cognitive and physical disabilities.

But having to stand up to the President! Didn't think that was in my future!!!!! I don't know if you saw it last night, but President Obama was Jay Leno's guest on the Tonight Show. During the interview, President Obama shared that he had been practicing his bowling and got a score of 129. He then quipped "was like the Special Olympics or something."

OK, some of you may not think this a big deal, but to a mom with a little girl with Down Syndrome (and another on the way :) this is disheartening! The highest-elected official making fun of people in Special Olympics! Uff Da!

So, I quick sent an email to his office stating:

"I am deeply saddened to have heard President Obama's comment regarding his bowling score and Special Olympics on Jay Leno last evening. By him poking fun at himself using that "analogy", he is poking fun at people with cognitive and physical disabilities.

My daughter has Down Syndrome and had brought great joy and richness to our lives. The hardest part is trying to educate society that she is a valuable and worthy person. So, it is just sad that this kind of comment comes from our own President(who himself is in a minority group). Please let him know of my disappointment and encourage him to be a better representative to ALL people regardless of race, ability, or gender!"

Honestly, I know that my comment won't make much of a difference except to me and my family. I feel good knowing that I stood up for my daughter and for other people with cognitive and physical disabilities!

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