To the average person, it is almost too easy to overlook an individual with disabilities that may happen to share your path. Perhaps the person in question is compelled to rely on the use of a walker, cane or crutches. Perhaps the person in question is blind or deaf, or is suffering from some form of taxing illness.
The tragic reality of this is by choosing to overlook these people whom you encounter on a daily basis, you are missing out on making lasting and profound friendships.
The good news is Becky Curran, an acclaimed figure in the entertainment and marketing industries who was born as an achondroplastic dwarf, is coming to Bridgewater State University on November 14 to talk to students about broadening their perceptions of people with disabilities.
“I’m passionate about finding a way to change how little people and all people with disabilities are perceived in the media, since the media ultimately influences the opinions of society as a whole,” said Curran on her website, Becky Motivates. “People with dwarfism are able to do everything average height people can.”
Rachel Collura, a senior Business Management major, also believes it’s important to treat all people, regardless of disabilities, as equally important and valuable.
“Maybe it’s just the way I was brought up,” said Collura. “When you see someone struggling or needing help I’m not just going to be a bystander. Clearly their capabilities are different, but they’re just like everyone else. Personally I don’t see them as incapable. It’s our job as a society to not make them feel different or like an outcast, because they’re not alone.”
In addition to challenging all students to refrain from judging others with disabilities, Curran will also talk about maintaining a positive attitude when you are the person with a particular type of disability.
“Real disabilities come from attitudes,” said Curran on her website. “All of us, even those without any type of legally-accepted or visible disability, can fall prey to self-defeating thinking by focusing on what we can’t do and comparing ourselves to others.”
Taylor Tavares, a freshman Business Management major, said she believes it will be important for people without disabilities to hear Curran speak.
“I feel like people are so quick to judge,” said Tavares. “I feel like having a speaker here would be good for people who don’t have disabilities. It will help them be more aware of people around them. It will make them not be so quick to judge. I feel like people can learn from people with disabilities. You can learn so much about being tolerant and patient from people who have autism, for instance.”
The event will be held in the Library Heritage Room at 7 p.m.
Elizabeth Sekkes is a Comment living-arts writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.