We recorded this episode the day after two mass shootings killed at least 31 people and injured dozens of others in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Were the young, white males who perpetrated these hateful, horrible acts suffering from mental illness? Perhaps, but not necessarily. Robin Jones, Director of the Great Lakes ADA Center (Americans with Disabilities Act) talked with us about her work training, consulting and providing technical assistance to business, schools, employers , architects, families and individuals related to disabilities. Handicapped parking, wheelchair ramps and accessible bathrooms are just the beginning. "The reality," says Jones, "is that most disabilities are invisible to others, including learning disabilities and mental illness." And how about the growing number of so-called "emotional support" pets on airplanes? Robin has insight on that, too.
Robin's broad understanding of the many issues surrounding human ability made Monica and me realize that we all have abilities and disabilities! The challenge is to make sure we are providing the assistance and services people need to use all of their abilities and we do not stigmatize individuals for getting help.