This guest blog was written by DSAIA board member Brandy Snow.
Imagine you’re headed down a path. A path to an extremely desirable end. You’ve been told that where you’re going there are people with values like love, strength, perseverance, comradeship, care, and hope. It sounds much like what you imagine heaven to be. So you take an inventory of what you might need along the trip, you pack, and set off on your journey. You feel feelings like anxiety and nervousness in conjunction with excitement and hope. Maybe you’ve done this before and when you got there it wasn’t at all what you thought it would be. Disappointment at best. Pain and hurt at worst.
As you move down the path filled with exposed roots and steep climbs and otherwise difficult terrain. You doubt your ability to finish. You question your decision. You wonder if it’s going to be worth it.
Then, just when you think about turning around, your “Navi Fairy” appears.
For folks that aren’t familiar, the “Navi Fairy” is Link from Legend of Zelda’s journey guide. She isn’t always present, but she appears when summoned and pops up when she sees a need or Link is in trouble. She’s there to guide him in his effort to save Hyrule, a beautiful, lush, albeit fictional, land.
Yes, I’ve played a lot of video games, as do my two boys, obviously, but hear me out.
I imagine DSAIA to play a role a similar to that of Link’s Navi Fairy. A team of helpful, experienced leaders in the Down syndrome community that provide guidance and direction as well as opportunities for collaboration and shared labor. An invaluable source of resources and tools to get the job done.
DSAIA has been more than resources and information, though. They have brought together likeminded professionals, cultivated partnerships, and procured an environment inspiring societal change. Personally, because of DSAIA, I have met and become friends with people I would not have otherwise had the pleasure of knowing, let alone been inspired by. They help us all move along this journey to that most desirable, welcoming, and inclusive end.