A Small Footprint

During the last few years, we’ve become familiar with the concept of having an ecologically “small footprint”—each of us living in such a way that we generate the least negative impact on our beautiful planet. Using less electricity, gasoline, and other fuels and/or drinking tap water instead of bottled water represent some examples of the changes that can make a difference. Simultaneously, many are also working to reverse the existing damage to our planet. What if we applied the same principles to the lives of people with disabilities?

Many children and adults with developmental disabilities have an army of people in their lives (parents, educators, therapists, service providers, and others) who may generate many large footprints in their lives. We can have the best of intentions in providing massive doses of help, but our footprints can unintentionally cause harm when children and adults with disabilities experience learned helplessness and dependence, social isolation and/or physical segregation, and/or other negative consequences. In some cases, the army of footprints in a person’s life may even trample and obscure the person’s identity and humanity.


So . . . what if we became more intentional about generating the smallest footprint on the life of a child or adult with a disability? And what if we worked hard to reverse any harm that’s already been done?​ Click here to continue.

Ultimately, what if we thought about ourselves, and wondered how it would feel to have so many people leaving big footprints in our lives?

Kathie Snow

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