Sometimes it’s helpful to take a step back and notice the things that have become normal. When the remarkable becomes unremarkable, that’s a sure sign that genuine change has taken place.
Recently in the Salem Social Cafe, a young member of our World Without Limits social club for people with disabilities celebrated his 20th birthday. His name is Victor, and he’s a talented and positive guy who loves drawing, is great at dancing, and spends lots of time in his favourite library at Salem Social Village.
Victor at his birthday party
We don’t think of him as disabled; he’s just one of our friends. We don’t think of it as unusual that he got to celebrate his birthday among friends who respect and appreciate him; yet outside of our cafe, you wouldn’t find that kind of thing going on anywhere else in the city. Those with disabilities of any kind are still largely shut away or marginalised, suffering the kind of discrimination that would horrify many in the West.
It’s a great measure of progress when, for us at least, these things become normal – and that’s how it should be.