Monday, March 17, 2008

The real milestone of Paterson's inauguration

All the buzz in the press lately has been about David Paterson becoming the first black governor of New York. That is somewhat significant since there have only been a handful of black governors in US history, although the first one was way back in 1872.

However, I don't think that is the most significant milestone of Paterson's ascension to the governor's office. The real milestone is that Paterson is the first blind governor in US history (actually, there was one other, but he only held the office for eleven days).

Paterson's accomplishment is inspirational to those of us with substantial disabilities. It raises awareness of the capabilities of persons with disabilities to be vocationally successful. If the press were to more widely acknowledge this milestone, it would likely cause more employers to think favorably about hiring persons with disabilities in the future.

Granted, racism is still widespread in America. However, the high unemployment rate of persons with disabilities indicate that they face more discrimination than African Americans do.

No comments: