I have been replaced.
Kicked to the curb.
And it couldn't feel better.
Yesterday was a difficult day for me. The Advocates Against Abuse project, in which people with intellectual disabilities learned to teach others with disabilities about abuse prevention, took another big step. In the initial phase of the project I did a two day train the trainer for people with disabilities on teaching people with disabilities. In that two day training the trainers were introduced to the curriculum for the very first time. Over the next several months the trainers with disabilities have excelled. They teach classes to people with intellectual disabilities about abuse prevention; they have spoken at a variety of conferences about the project; they have presented on peer training to university students in a Masters program. To say they've done well is a massive understatement.
Now, yesterday, they took a substantial step forward. They ran the first day of the two day train the trainer for others with disabilities to also become trainers. This is only the second time a train the trainer for people with intellectual disabilities has been done in this project. I did the first one. I did not do the second one. Instead, I stayed far away. This was to be theirs, it belongs to them now, I simply went to work knowing that a few blocks away the training was going on.
Vita has both staff and members there being trained - I couldn't resist a call to see how it was going. I was not surprised but I was very pleased to hear that the trainers training trainers were doing exceptionally well.
We always say that we are trying to work ourselves out of a job ... and, here, in fact, it's happened. I couldn't be happier .. in fact happy isn't a big enough word to communicate how I'm feeling.
Maybe that will do.
I remember, long before the fight for inclusive education, the fight for education at all. People with intellectual disabilities were considered non-learners. They could be 'trained' but not 'taught' ...
But, I don't want to go down that road today. The road through the past is dark with bigotry and hazardous with low hanging expectations. Today I'm in my office, sitting, revelling in the fact that the world has just changed.
It will take a while for that change to have the effect it will have, but change is no longer 'coming' ... it's here - and now the rest begins.