Annual Walk for disAbility Awareness

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Rachel Osborne on the track at the Junior High.
Rachel Osborne on the track at the Junior High.

It couldn't have been a prettier day for a walk than this past Saturday. It was the 8th annual Walk for disAbility Awareness held at Sheridan's Junior High and Sheridan Media's Judy Hagerott joined the crowd on the track.

A sunshiny day with temperatures hovering near 70, who wouldn't want to take a walk. There were several walkers out on the Junior High track Saturday bringing to an end March as Disability Awareness Month. Twenty six year-old A. J. Steven was walking the track with a friend and he tells us what it meant to him.

The disabled ruled that day and they walked for two hours. There were folks in wheel chairs, others with metal walkers, and some who just needed the hand of a friend to make it around the track.

Sometimes I find it hard to just get up in the morning, but the disabled have much more to overcome. President of RENEW, Larry Samson explains.

Making a difference. The disabled are people with feelings just like you and I. Jeannie Ellinger feels the sting of the words and looks people can give.

It's not easy, especially when folks call you names.

The 'R' word. As I'm visiting with Jeannie, I'm racking my brain...What 'R' word is she talking about. I'm thinking respect, no, responsibilty...no...those words don't fit; she's talking about something mean. And then it hits me right between the eyes...”Retard.” Even saying the word seems so wrong.

But that's why the disabled were walking Saturday, disabilty awareness, teaching folks like me, that the disabled are people too. It's all about attitude as Samson explains.

Call it a civil rights movement. Samson says it's all about acceptance.

So I asked Jeannie to help me with my lack of knowledge because sometimes when I get around the disabled, I'm not sure what to do or say.

The “Golden Rule,” seems like we all could take a lesson from Jeannie. For Sheridan Media News, this is Judy Hagerott reporting.

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