Category: Hello From Shari

April 9, 2021

Hello From Shari

Many people don’t realize that hate, intolerance and discrimination are not based only upon color of the skin today. Historically; however, there was much more focus on skin color involving these evils than there is currently. We have made some progress, thankfully. Now we have Federal Protected Classes: Race, Color, Religion or Creed, National Origin or Ancestry, Gender, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Age, Disability – Physical or Mental, Veteran Status, Genetic Information, Citizenship and Familial Status. These Protected Classes are supposed to ameliorate the evils of discrimination, intolerance and hatred.

Theoretically, anyway.

But even government-legislated protection doesn’t seem to stop society from developing these evils against people because they are different. For many, it sadly seems far easier to hate than to try to understand and accept others’ differences.

The answer may lie in education. If citizens would just take time to educate themselves about the differences and try to take into consideration how others feel based on their own experience, maybe we could discover a place where people could truly love and accept one another for who they are. We, as advocates with disabilities, certainly know about the discrimination and the ignorance society often has toward us. Hate can be fueled because of ignorance and a lack of willingness to change.

We hear the patronizing in people’s voices. We feel the stares behind our backs. We know that society often has pity rather than empathy for us. And we know, down deep in our hearts, that some have a total disregard for us and just wish we would go away.

If people would take the time to educate themselves about our disability and empathize with our styles, they would understand why we have disability pride. We’re proud of who we are! We’re proud of our disability. We’re proud of our accomplishments. The disability movement focuses on removing barriers for those with disabilities wherever and whenever we can.

If we could only remove the hate, intolerance and discrimination, what a wonderful world this would be.

Love, Shari

March 26, 2021

Hello From Shari

The events are coming! The events are coming!

Approximately one year ago our world changed when the Coronavirus became an unexpected and most unwelcome part of it. Much of normal life changed—slowing down, skidding to an unhappy halt or far worse. COVID-19 altered the way we lived, and usually not for the better: to date, more than half a million Americans have died and many more people around the globe.

At SKIL we had to implement changes to protect our customers and employees. Some of those changes were grievous, like closing our buildings to customers and the public except by appointment, sadly cancelling both our Fishing Without Boundaries annual customer event and “My Home For the Holidays,” our popular Christmastime free community dinner/annual meeting event.

Yet even amid all that we faced, we determined to continue going forward in the ways we could. When other businesses shut down—we stayed open, determined to keep serving you, our beloved customers, and doing our best to be there for you and your DSW workers. When other management teams and boards of directors said “No We Can’t”—ours asked “How Can We?” More than ever we realized, and sometimes on a daily basis, that surviving and thriving in life is as much a mindset as it is an action. And our minds strengthened and we took action to survive and thrive, in the safe, protective and positive ways that we could.

A brand New Year is now in full swing. Temperatures are warming, spring flowers are starting to bloom and there is much hope that COVID-19 is lessening so that our lives can return more to normal. We are still slowly continuing forward in the ways we can and thankfully, that will again include our annual picnics and the July ADA Celebration public party. Last year, we offered the picnics and ADA Celebration via a new and creative “drive-through” method, and we are going to continue that method this year. Drive-through events work! And they are a creative, real way to continue serving people while practicing safe measures like social distancing and wearing masks.

Our annual series of picnics will kick off with Columbus SKIL’s free drive-through picnic on Friday, May 28. Our summertime ADA Celebration will be held on Friday, July 23 and will also be a drive-through event. Like last year, it will be held in the parking lot just north of the Parsons SKIL headquarters building. We hope these events will be bigger and better than last year, with more food and with area community partners joining us via vendor booths. Please keep checking our website for specific dates, times, events listings and any possible updates, remembering that our events are subject to government laws and ordinances. Information will be posted after it is finalized.  

Please also give us your support, by encouraging us as we continue to serve you, by attending our events as you can/telling others about them and by offering us your ideas on how we can do things better. We love you all, and we continue to exist to serve you. I hope that, by doing so, we make a positive difference in your lives.

The events are coming! The events are coming! Celebrate with us as we continue forward!!

Love, Shari