February is Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month, one month a year when we focus attention on Jews with disabilities and access to Jewish institutions. My friend and teacher Neil Jacobson has put together a playlist of videos for enjoyment and education. As far as I know, none of the video stars below are Jewish, but they raise questions about the limitations we put on our communities when we shut out persons with disabilities.

In the first chapter of the book of Genesis, we read:

 .וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-כָּל-אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה, וְהִנֵּה-טוֹב מְאֹד; וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי

And God saw everything that God had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. – Genesis 1:31

God created us in God’s image, and all of creation was טוֹב מְאֹד, very good, in the beginning. Who are we to devalue the creations of God?

Wheelz in the Air: Hitting the Skatepark on a Wheelchair: Watch this young man for a minute and he will mess with every assumption you might have about life in a wheelchair.

 

Guy Who Parked His Car In Handicapped Parking Space Gets What He Deserved: Made me want to start carrying a gross of post-its in my glove box.

 

When Is It Okay to Say the R-Word? An articulate young man with Down’s Syndrome breaks it down for us.

 

AXIS on SYTYCD 2011- Changing the Face of Dance and Disability: Beautiful. I want to see more from this dance duo.

 

Why My Gray Hairs Make Me Happy ***Be That Person***: The Stay-at-Home Chef Rachel Farnsworth offers a recipe that may have surprised her fans. (By the way, the recipes on her blog are really good – I didn’t know about her before but I think I have just become a fan, myself.)

 

So there you have it: some great short videos to blow up some assumptions and enrich your life. Happy Jewish Disability Awareness Month!

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