Supportive communities helpful

by Destanie Martin-Johnson

Minnesota Miss Amazing Pageant, created by a University of Minnesota student in 2013, will host a show on Saturday. At least 30 girls of various ages and with various disabilities will get the chance to be onstage, answer questions and show off a dress or talent. Then they will all be rewarded with flowers, trophies and cheers from a crowd. 
This is just one of many programs in Minnesota that aims to include boys, girls, women and men with disabilities in community activities. There’s no argument that most communities are willing to support anyone.
Programs like this are beneficial because they give those with disabilities the opportunity to build social skills and confidence that will help them become successful in the real world. 
This past Saturday, a mother made a Facebook post expressing her desire to hold a fun birthday party for her daughter, who was diagnosed with Sotos syndrome, which is a form of gigantism that also causes developmental delays of speech and learning. This woman’s post moved the whole Shakopee community to engage in making her daughter’s birthday party special. Mackenzie Moretter will never forget her 10th birthday. 
There are all kinds of people willing to help those with disabilities and change the way people see them. We need to recognize our differences and then embrace them by including those with disabilities in our community without rejection or discrimination. Activities like the Minnesota Miss Amazing Pageant are a good way to start.