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I think that at one time or another everyone has been curious about some type of disability...especially kids. We have tried to understand these mysterious disabilities by pretend play or being curious and asking questions of people we see in wheelchairs. Then our parents say "Honey, don't point! SHHHHHH!" Why is it so hard to accept other's differences? After all, we are unique! Some people feel it's the adults and others around us who teach us by example; That prejudice and fear or lack of understanding on their part, are the way in which we must all believe. Even though as kids we try to understand and are curious enough to pretend what it's like to be "different", we also grow up in a society where differences mean fear - rather than understanding. Maybe if we attempted to simulate life or one of life's challenges as a person with a disability- for just a brief moment in time on this web site, we can help ourselves and others to understand and respect these "differences".
There are two ways we would like to present the disabilities that we will talk about on our site: VISIBLE & INVISIBLE. We don't necessarily mean whether you can see them or not, although in some cases this is true. What we do want to explain though, is that there are some disabilities that are accepted as disabilities because we can somehow relate to them as obvious or noticed by an outward sign. For example: Deaf or Hearing Impaired: you can't see deafness, but because some deaf or hearing impaired people wear hearing aids and/or use sign language, we can "see" that they are in one way or another challenged in their hearing. The same thing applies to blindness or vision impaired; they may wear glasses, carry a cane or have a guide dog. It's somehow visible, recognized and to some degree better understood by the world that these people have a disability. But what about all those people who have a hidden disability that is just as devastating or even more devastating than ones that we can see? Is it possible that because we can not see their disability it would make it more difficult to understand? And to ASSIST them as we would someone with a wheelchair? We hope that you will not only have fun while you learn about some of these disabilities and differences at our site, but that you come visit us in our chat room (To be announced), or write us a note to join in speaking out to all those that lead our countries, in promoting greater tolerance and understanding of all the world's differences by talking and developing respect and tolerance for all the world's people - including those with disabilities! After you try out our simulations, and take a look at our page, tell us what you think, how you felt, and if you learned anything!! Suggestions are welcomed!!!