Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Lasagna: International Day of Disabled Persons

We are having lasagna for dinner tonight.

This is how we are going to celebrate the International Day of Disabled Persons.

On Friday, last, we were with a group of self advocates who have become abuse prevention trainers. It was a day to celebrate, a day to refresh ourselves on our purpose and our mission. It was a great day, laughter and learning, community and communion, difference and diversity. One of the fellows who was doing a demonstration of his training style was someone new to me. With excitement I came to realize that he is part of the second wave. A new trainer - someone trained to be a trainer by trainers with disabilities. I had done the original training. I had not trained this man. He was awesome. Seeing this happen was, there is no other word, a blessing.

At lunch we had lasagna. Joe and I are very finicky about lasagna. We make a really, really, good one. Exactly to our taste, flavourful and rich. We tucked in to our serving and found that it rivalled our own. It was amazing. As it turned out, shortly after we both had remarked, one to the other, that it was really good, the young trainer appeared and asked us what we thought of the lasagna. We told him it was awesome. He then told us that he had helped make it. He works at a restaurant helping out with pretty much everything, a job he loves, and he had helped make the food provided for our lunch that day.

There was some left over and we were given it to take home. We put it aside in the fridge. We're having it tonight.

There was a time when people with intellectual disabilities didn't train trainers.

There was a time when people with intellectual disabilities didn't have jobs to brag about.

There was a time when the talents of people with intellectual disabilities were as caged as they were - behind institution walls and the low expectations of others.

Not now.


After dinner we are going to a big disability event where we will gather and celebrate and give honour to those who have provided leadership and vision and direction to the disability movement. We aren't going to the dinner, because we have plans, but we're going to the celebration afterwards. I want to be there and be part of MY COMMUNITY. I want to be refreshed and inspired. I can't wait.

I know we have far to go.

I know we have much to do.

I know we have barriers to knock down.

But today, I choose celebrate who we are and who we are becoming. We need more celebration. I need more celebration.

I hope you all, wherever you are, mark this day in the way you need ...

in celebration

in protest

in anger

in joy

in determination ...

the day is as individual as we all are. I just wish I could share a bite of my lasagna with each one of you, it would take a big lasagna but I've met a guy who's up for making a batch or two more.


Anonymous said...

[You will want to add 'al' in the title of this post - to make it correct.]

Otherwise - happy celebration, and enjoy your lasagna!


Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,

is there any chance to get the recipe to the lasagna you and Joe cook? I am a vegeterian going vegan and I know from your blog that Joe and you are vegeterians.

I love a good lasagna, especially with spinach...

Julia :-)

Bill Woodward said...

To learn from those we serve is such an eye opening opportunity. I have come to know that folks have been trying to teach their care givers all along but they (we) were not listening. Thank goodness we are doing so now.
Lasagna sounds great for dinner tonight.

joanne said...

Thank you for sharing this timely story Dave....I will never look at lasagna the same :) have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a soul-satisfying AND delicious day! Hard to beat that combo.


clairesmum said...


Jayne Wales said...

That sounds just great in every aspect, a real celebration. I had lunch with some lovely friends and we put the world to right. A nice mixed group of every kind of person around the table.

Rickismom said...