I have always worked closely with people in many of my past positions, but this experience is a first for me. It makes me think back to my initial interview for the position. I remember being so eager to be moving up the ladder in the human services field, however, I did not really understand the importance of what I would soon be doing. All I knew was that I had a strong desire to "help" people who are in need and that cannot easily help themselves. I figured this was the perfect job for me!
Now, as I am growing and learning in my position, I can say that my views about people with disabilities have not changed, but they have matured and this experience has produced a new understanding for me. Sometimes, I put myself in my clients shoes and that gives me a better approach to coming up with the best solution for them.
This position has honestly given me an outstanding appreciation for those living, working, parenting, being educated, and so forth, in a world that is not so accepting, not so understanding, and has lack of awareness and compassion for people with disabilities. Overall, this experience has made me aware, and motivates me to promote awareness so that others understand how strong, brave, equal, and inspiring people living with disabilities really are.
Not just in a professional sense, but on a personal level now I am being conscious of my language and reminding friends and family as well. I find myself explaining person-first language and sensitivity in everyday conversations. Overall, I wouldn't say that my views of people with disabilities have not changed, but my appreciation and awareness has definitely been enhanced!