People with disabilities have accomplished some amazing things — many times above and beyond what any supposedly “normal” person has ever done.
Take Helen Keller, for example. Both deaf and blind, she didn’t let that stop her from being the first with her disability to gain a bachelor of arts degree, among multiple other achievements.
It was Keller who said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Sadly, many in our society are still blind to what those with disabilities are able to achieve.
Stephen Hawking was a physicist. Stevie Wonder is a musical legend to this day. Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, has Dyspraxia — a learning disability that makes even tying his own shoes a challenge.
Yet, despite the struggles these individuals have faced, they have overcome the odds against them and the stigma around their disabilities, rising above to do what some may have told them they couldn’t.
Which is why it’s so heartbreaking that a young woman would be turned away from a job as a server simply because she has one arm.
Twenty-one-year-old Allison Dia Hunsberger is from Elkhart, Indiana. When she went into her local Olive Garden for an interview, she was excited at the possibility of a position as a server.
“I have previous serving experience and I know that I HAVE what it takes to be great waitress,” Hunsberger wrote on Facebook.
The young woman went on to explain her experience during a second interview. She explained how, when she mentioned she has one arm, two different managers made a snap judgement.
According to Hunsberger, one of the managers mentioned carrying heavy trays and using a cheese grater as reasons she would not be fit to serve.
Hunsberger says she then offered to show them she was capable, if they would only give her a chance. The fourth manager refused.
“As I walked out the doors, I tried my hardest to fight back my tears so that she wouldn’t see me cry. But, as soon I got to my car I started to sob. I have NEVER been turned down because I have one arm!” she wrote.
“It meant a lot for me to just go back in a month later and prove them wrong…” she said. “They say it’s ‘handicapped’ but I call it ‘handicapable.'”
The news outlet reported that same Olive Garden has now reached back out and offered Hunsberger a position as part of their team, claiming it was a “misunderstanding.”
The viral video she shared of herself using a cheese grater has earned her job offers from several other restaurants as well.
“Because I know that I can do it and I have proved it to myself and I feel like I don’t need to prove anything else. I just wanted to shed light on it,” she told The Elkhart Truth.
Her courage to stand up and speak up is inspiring. I hope the small-minded folks at Olive Garden have learned a valuable lesson. Everyone deserves a chance. Everyone.
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