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Erin Kelly

It’s hard to find common ground in today’s whirlwind of news and chaos. It has become even harder to balance personal choices about things like identity and other core values. It’s everywhere we turn.

That’s all the more reason why we all must find a temporary escape – or at least something to help us balance reality. For me, that means gluing myself to my T.V. for a half hour every week to watch the award-winning TV show, Speechless.

The show follows The DiMeo’s, a fictional family whose son, JJ, played by actor and disability advocate Micah Fowler, has cerebral palsy. Fowler leads an incredible cast including Minnie Driver and John Ross Bowie as JJ’s loving but protective parents, Mason Cook and Kayla Kenedy as his brother and sister and Cedric Yarbrough as his trusty sidekick and personal care aide.

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With all the progress that's been made in America, the "Land of Opportunity," it’s hard to believe the right to vote wasn’t always a given for everyone — including the disabled.

But if we take a look back at American history, we can see that there was a time not too long ago when people with disabilities did not have a say in any election, let alone a presidential one.

It wasn’t because of someone’s personal beliefs against voting, or even religious beliefs. There were simply no laws in place for the disabled to make their voices heard, which caused a longstanding battle of discrimination and prejudice. In fact, people within the disabled community were (and still are) often denied the right to vote despite steps being taken to grant them that right.

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