My daughter Caila, was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome.
So when February comes around which is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month I am active on social media and speaking around the world raising awareness for the power of inclusion.
The reality though, for our family, and for everyone with any kind of disability this is not just a month. This is our reality every day, of every week, of every month, of every year.
It is an uphill battle.
True inclusion is not writing a check to a nonprofit that makes the donor feel good - tick - good deed done.
True inclusion is not writing an email about inclusion, or bringing people with special needs in to a community for one Shabbat a year.
True inclusion is when you open your schools, synagogues and organizations. It is when you open your hearts and your homes. It is when you teach your children to choose kindness and love, every single time - not because it's the right thing to do, nor because they feel sorry for the person who is different - but because you should teach them to be the. best person they can be.
We are taught to “Love Our Neighbor as Ourselves.”
My rallying cry – When G-d creates a person with special needs, that’s G-d’s choice.
How you choose to treat that person is your choice.
Join me in making this world a truly more inclusive place for all the Caila’s.