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Challenging Perceptions

For the past 30 years and counting, advocate Doug Cartan has worked within the disability sector to create positive change for people with disabilities. Challenging society’s limiting views of disability is at the core of his work.   

Doug is a long-time family friend and member of a support circle for Rebecca, a woman with complex medical challenges. Doug has known Rebecca since her girlhood; she is now in her 30’s.

Having witnessed Rebecca’s life unfold, and her impact on so many different people and settings over time, he’s often observed that in her presence, young and old alike tend to slow down; seeing the world through Rebecca’s eyes encourages patience and appreciation for the moment.

One of Doug’s most profound insights about Rebecca relates to his own learning:

What she’s taught me is that the limitations that surround people don’t rest inside

people themselves, they rest inside me. When people use words like ‘unrealistic’ or

‘not quite possible’ I simply shrug my shoulders and I say, "Well, geez I don’t know,

let’s see if it’s possible". It’s a humbling insight, to see that you can be a stumbling

block to someone’s life.

The video on this page is an excerpt from Dance in the Shadow. To view the entire documentary visit the Doc Zone.

Learn more about Rebecca @ rebeccabeayni.com.