As part of my ministry as a consultant for disability issues and awareness, I’ve been preparing several disability awareness workshops and talks. In most of these I will be talking a little bit about some famous people with disabilities from past and present who have successfully dealt with their disabilities and lived productive lives. I’ve read about Helen Keller since I was little and have seen The Miracle Worker I don’t know how many times. I knew Helen Keller had learned how to talk verbally, but shortly after New Year’s, I was doing some research and found a newsreel from 1930 that showed her talking out loud. I was practically moved to tears. I also learned that she graduated with honors from Radcliffe College back in 1904—without any legislation concerning reasonable accommodations or any technological advances beyond a Braille typewriter. Also during my research, I found out about a number of other very famous people who had disabilities I had never dreamed they had—mostly because the disabilities are considered “hidden.” We just never know. We all need to remember this, to increase our own sensitivity and awareness. We should never let labels define us or anyone else, and should never let fear stop us or anyone else from being all we or they are called by God to be. Many of the world’s greatest advances and inventions have been made possible by people we may not have expected or realized. I know I’ll think about this as I turn on a light, ride in an airplane or in a car, or reflect on the events of our history that have led to some of our progress as a nation. It shows that God doesn’t call the qualified; God qualifies the called.
Sister Mary Carla
Sister Mary Carla Flood, OSB is a Minnesota state-licensed Master level social worker. She holds a BA in psychology and MSW both from Arizona State University. She moved to Duluth in 2007 from Phoenix while discerning with the Duluth Benedictines. She is originally from upstate New York, and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, moving to Phoenix with her family in 1984 shortly before starting high school. She has diversified ministry experience. See all of Sister Mary Carla’s posts.