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Eugenia Brady

Updated: May 7, 2019

" Diversity is all around us in this planet … beyond the color of our skin, gender or culture, and we are diverse from chromosomes to brain cells and brain wiring."

Candles lit around rally posters.
Eugenia Brady

Eugenia Brady – “Latinos with Disabilities”

Hello. My name is Eugenia Brady. I came to the US 20 years ago. I would like to talk about Latinos with disabilities. A minority of a minority. The challenges faced by this population are far beyond others have to experience.

I have been an advocate for many years, since I was in college in Costa Rica and became friends with some students who had disabilities, I learned many things with them. I learned that many times, the most of limitations they have are on our minds. I learned that stereotypes and bias affect us all no matter who we are.

I became completely aware of this when my son was born and he received an Autism diagnosis when he was two years old. Recently divorced as a result of domestic violence, life found me alone, afraid and with the new challenge of raising three children, one of them a child with some disorder, “they said” that I knew little of. What to do?

I wanted to learn as much I could about Autism and discovered there was not too much information in Spanish, but I had the blessing of speaking English. I learned everything I could about Autism and then some. I learned about behavior therapy, I learned about sensory processing challenges and everything in between. I had no money to take my son to as many therapies I could, to look, search!!...for a recovery…a recovery? A cure? As time went by I discovered that my son as only a little boy with a fascinating personality and many other traits that he could use to his advance…

My son taught me to listen carefully and look around for clues. My son taught me that everything goes smoother if you go with the flow instead of fighting it and along the way he showed me how he learns so I could join not just in the process but in his whole journey.

My son taught me how to be resilient.

Yes, of course, love can do amazing things, but I discovered that acceptance is more powerful than a diagnosis, preconceived ideas, fears and prejudice. My son has taught me about diversity and that having diverse brains, bodies, minds, eyes, hair or skin, is not a mistake. It is not an accident either. He has taught me more about diversity that all those seminars or classes I could ever had taken in college. I have learned to see the world thru his eyes.

My son has been at grade level at school for many years. He is in 10 grade now at Centaururs High school. His dream is to become a great astronomer. Together we go thru the ups and downs of the challenges he still has and that will stay with him his whole life in the Autism Spectrum. But a journey is always better when you are in good company.

So, my message tonight for our community is:

Acceptance is the greatest gift you can give to anybody. Embrace the individual as he or she, forget the idea of fitting them in a mold where they do not fit. See the people –particularly if they have disabilities- by the things they can do, not by the things they are not able to do.

Diversity is all around us in this planet and it is not limited to fruits, trees or animals, we are a part of that, beyond the color of the skin, gender or culture, and we are diverse from chromosomes to brain cells and brain wiring.

Let’s learn how to bring down biases about any difference that we do not understand. That will open doors to all our kids… for them to have hopes and dreams and to do the best they can to have a fulfilling and happy life and a brighter future.

Thank you.

Translated into English by Martín Better.

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