For class we had to watch “I am Tyler”. It is a great video about life, abilities, and helping everyone. If you haven’t seen it you can check it out here:
I remember watching “I am Tyler” before. I think it was when I completed “Wood Badge”, an adult leader training for the Boy Scouts of America. The whole point of the video is to not judge people by their disabilities, but rather seeing their abilities and them as someone who can do all of the “normal” activities. In fact, Tyler was more active in High School than many other people. He had people who supported him and gave him the opportunity to do activities and spent the little extra time to make his participation in activities a reality.
In life it is easy to say “you can’t do that”, instead of figuring out how to make it possible. I think this is a mindset practiced when people see disabilities or when they come across a difficult part of their life. Instead of giving up, we need to figure out how to make it a reality.
When I attended UW-Whitewater for my Bachelor’s Degree, I worked in Disabled Student Services as a Dispatcher. I was responsible for scheduling our van drivers to get students who were in wheel chairs where they needed to go. During my time there, I became friends with a lot of the students we served and they challenged my view of people who used wheelchairs. UW-Whitewater had a nationally ranked wheelchair basketball team and they didn’t let their disabilities slow them down. Some were more athletic than a lot of the students, and some could out drink me at the bars on Thursday nights. Who cared, that they had to be carried down the stairs of the bar, because their wasn’t a ramp, and the stairwell was too narrow? We didn’t.
In Marketing we have to remember that everyone is faced with disabilities and barriers in life. However, we can’t look at the impossible, we need to look at the possible. It is important to empower people through our messaging and help people see their potential. By telling stories and building people up, our marketing messages will be more powerful and effective. Instead of hiding from diversity we should recognize it and empower people.