This week the blog was written by Hyun Berkley, Community Participation Initiative Assistant.
My name is Hyun Berkley and I work at The Arcadia Institute as a Community Participation Assistant. The Arcadia Institute helps individuals with disabilities feel welcomed in the community. I do this by helping participants find meaningful activity. I have assisted participants singing in the community, attending Jaycees meeting, and volunteering.
Why do I do this? I know what it feels like to be misunderstood and excluded.
I am Korean American and oftentimes I am the only Asian person in the room. It is not unusual for people to make assumptions about me that are entirely wrong. They assume I am either adopted, a foreigner, Chinese or that I am married to another Asian person. My friends and family know that I was born in Korea but am now a US citizen and am married to a man of European descent.
Has anyone ever made assumptions about you that are entirely wrong?
People with disabilities face these challenges every day and everywhere they go. Too many people assume individuals with disabilities don’t have dreams, and a desire to contribute and be part of the community.
Do you know what would happen if we stopped making assumptions about people? We would get to know one another much better regardless of race, gender, cultural background or disabilities. And everyone would feel included in the community and have the opportunity to realize their dreams.