Acquired disability is the norm as we age. An acquired disability occurs after birth, typically from accident, illness, or increasing age. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 71 percent of Americans aged eighty and older have a disability. Statistics Canada has found that 43 percent of Canadians over seventy-five live with a disability.
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As I write this article the 2014 Winter Olympics have just ended, and the word excellence easily comes to mind. The athletes displayed brilliant excellence on the short track, the half pipe, the slope, and many other venues. After years of intense training with the world’s greatest coaches, these young men and women dazzled us with feats of athleticism that made shockingly difficult maneuvers look easy.
After I led a group of people with cognitive impairments in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, Sarah approached me to ask a question. I had difficulty understanding her because I don’t know her well and because she has trouble articulating certain sounds.
Finally, I understood that she hadn’t come forward to take communion that evening because she has a swallowing disorder. Sarah feared she would choke in front of everyone as she took the elements. She asked if we could go to a more private place where I could serve her. I was delighted to do so.