Episode Flyer for #64: Inclusion in Central and Latin America
Episode Flyer for #64: Inclusion in Central and Latin America

Guest: David Perez       Guest Title: Chief Global Strategist

Date: June 12, 2017            Guest Company: Ruh Global Communications    

[Intro Music]

Debra:                     Hi everyone, this is Debra Ruh and you’re listening to Human Potential at Work. Today, I’m really excited to invite David Perez joining us from Costa Rica. David is a new member of my team and I had the pleasure to meet David when I went over to Costa Rica to speak at a UNESCO conference and David really, really impressed me. Luckily, David has agreed to join my team. David is going to be joining the show regularly and really talking about disability inclusion from his perspective and David brings a lot of different perspectives to the table. He’s going to be a regular guest, but I wanted to start today by really introducing you to David and letting the audience learn a little bit more about David Perez. David, welcome to the program.

David:                      Thank you and hello to everyone. I’m very glad to be in the show and obviously working with Debra. It’s been an amazing journey these past two months. It’s all happened too fast, but it’s happening great for my life. I was actually looking for something that I could do that would really be an impact in people’s lives and it has been great. Do you want me to tell you something about me?

Debra:                     Absolutely.

David:                      Okay. I’m a political scientist. I’m 25 years old. I also have a master’s degree in diplomacy. The main reason I went into political science was actually international relations. I loved everything that had to do with international relations, so I thought that maybe understanding what I had in my country and the other systems that the other countries had would give me very important tools to actually work in international relations. That’s how I got to UNESCO and that’s how I got my diplomacy masters. When I started working at UNESCO, we started working on projects that had to do with disability and I started noticing that maybe international relations were not going to give me the possibility to actually help people.

                                    Because when you’re working with those organizations they do great things, but those things most of the time get stuck in paper. People do meetings and resources go, but it doesn’t go further than that. When I was working with people with disabilities, I noticed that this was something that was actually going to help people and was going to make a difference. I started to develop a passion for this, so when Debra contacted me and told me, “I want you to work with me,” I was like, “I have to do this. This is my calling,” as they say.

Debra:                     I agree and sometimes you know when it’s your calling. Also, I was so impressed and so were many of the other speakers at the UNESCO conference. You really, really stood out and it was such an interesting conference, because there were many countries coming together from Central and Latin America to talk about inclusion of people with disabilities in those countries and can those countries come together and really support each other, helping everyone be more successful. I was fascinated by the people I met and the conversations.

                                    Many of the conversations, of course, were happening in Spanish, which I am unfortunately not a Spanish speaker. I know here in the United States, about 20% of our population are Spanish speakers. It appears to me, David, that many Spanish speakers are being left out of these conversations and there’s not as much progress being made for Spanish speakers all over the world. Not just Spanish speakers, but just looking at it from that lens. I see that there’s a real opportunity and I know you and I had actually talked a lot during some downtime at the conference about that.

David:                      Exactly. I think there’s a big gap between the information that English speaking countries have and the countries that don’t speak English have, because it’s also a problem with the overall situation of things because people with disabilities are not being as well educated as people without disabilities. This comes as a result that most people with disabilities don’t have access to English speaking lessons, so they don’t get the same information. That was something that at UNESCO we tried to balance. Maybe you saw in the conference we had always automatic translation happening for everyone because we needed the information that you guys were bringing to the table, but we also needed for the people to understand it firsthand. It’s not the same thing if you’re not understanding the same [inaudible 00:05:02] firsthand as I was saying, because you need to get the information and be able to do something with it, it needs to come through seamlessly.

Debra:                     I agree, and I agree. People like you, David, young people that really want to make a difference in the world really inspire me and make me hopeful, because there’s quite a bit of work to do in the world, as we know. I really like the lens that you’re looking at, both as a millennial and as somebody that lives in Costa Rica. Spanish is your first language, even though you can eloquently speak English. Also, as you’ve walked this path, I think your personal story has really emerged. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing with our listeners a little bit of your personal story with disability.

David:                      Of course. It’s actually very interesting. I never thought of it as a disability in the first place. When I was very little, I think I was around five years old, I was taken to a neurologist and he diagnosed me with ADHD. For most parents in Costa Rica that would’ve been shocking, and a problem, and a lot of things, but my parents were different because my mother was actually looking for the things that had made her have trouble in her life and found a book. This book talked about ADHD and she started saying, “This is all the things … What the book is saying here are all the things that happen to me.” She spoke with my father and he realized that the same problems that he had in school, the same problems that he had in high school, in college, were all due to his ADHD. They noticed that and they started to look for something or for solutions to help their children cope better with that problem.

                                    As a matter of fact, I realized later on it was not a problem. It’s interesting, because it was actually because of the environment I was living. As you can see here, I’m in a farm. This has been my house for 25 years. I’ve lived in a sort of isolation from the world. We don’t have neighbors, [crosstalk 00:07:31] mostly. We don’t have neighbors our age, so we didn’t have friends. What happened was that I have three older brothers. They all have ADHD as well. They became my best friends. They became my group. They became the people that I looked up to that I wanted to follow them, so people that made me feel like secured, like I had something to fall back on. As they all had ADHD, when I was diagnosed I was actually happy. I was very happy that I was not being left out of what my brothers had.

Debra:                     And your parents.

David:                      Yes, and my parents. I had to follow the same routines, the same [starting 00:08:12] routines, I had to take the same pills. I had to do everything like them. It started, for me, it started like a blessing. Actually, one of my brothers, I think it’s [Gabrielle 00:08:25], he’s the second one, he had a very difficult time coping with the fact that he was ADHD and dyslexic.

Debra:                     Ah, yes.

David:                      He did not want to accept it, because he felt that it would make him be different and being different is not good. He had a very difficult time in high school and when he went to college, he didn’t seek help. It took him 11 years to finish his career.

Debra:                     Wow.

David:                      He’s very persistent, but it would’ve been easier if he had embraced what he was dealing with. Because that’s exactly what I did, because of the environment I was living in, as I saw it as something very good for me, when I went to school and for exams, they used to put us in different rooms because we needed more time, and we were special, and whatever. They had all the myths wrong, right? They had a very bad approach to handling this sort of thing, so they were learning with us. It was very nice for me, because I was like, “Okay. I’m different from them, but I’m good different because I’m different like my brothers and I love how they are and so I want to be like them.”

                                    What I did with that, with those tools that they were giving me, was take advantage. When I had an exam and I had more time than the others to take that exam, I would ace that exam. It was simple for me. I have more time, so my companions, my classmates, would try to make fun of me. They would try to make fun of me, because I was in the special room for the special kids. I told them, “I don’t know why you’re making fun of me. I have more time than you to make an exam and I’m acing every single exam.”

Debra:                     Right, right. I’m not broken, I just learn differently.

David:                      Exactly.

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      I learn different, I take different times, but I’m doing exactly as great as you could do, but I’m actually doing better than you. I started making it look cool to be ADHD and they wanted to be in the room. At the end of my high school years, everyone wanted more time on their exams, everyone wanted more time to be alone and to actually learn how they wanted to learn. I had that ability and I made that happen for a lot of other kids that were with me in high school because they didn’t see it as a blessing, they saw it as a problem because their parents maybe were [crying 00:11:11] when they were diagnosed, maybe they were scared of what would happen with this kid, what’s going to happen with him? I feel I was a positive influence on them and I actually have one classmate that he had a very difficult time learning in high school, but he went on and became one of the best publicists I’ve ever known.

Debra:                     Wow.

David:                      He’s the most creative person I know by far. He can do things that no one else can, because he’s different.

Debra:                     He thinks differently. There’s value in that.

David:                      He thinks differently and he started to value that, I think, because of my influence. He won’t say that, because he’s my friend, but I think it had a lot to do with the fact that me being here, living in this environment where everyone was ADHD, and we all embraced it, and loved it, and grew with it, made my life a lot easier. It has been amazing being ADHD, because I can focus maybe not as well as other people, but I can focus on a lot of things at the same time.

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      For example, for the UNESCO conference, maybe you saw, I was on top of everything.

Debra:                     Yes, I did notice that.

David:                      Being able to do that, it’s a blessing because that’s actually what took me through that path and brought me to where I am today.

Debra:                     Right, right. You were noticed, you were … Yeah, you were-

David:                      Exactly. Being able to be focused on a lot of things, to be creative and solving problems creatively, not like everyone else would enter a crisis, because I don’t see crisis as crisis, I see crisis as an opportunity. It’s a lot of things that come from simply living with ADHD, and embracing who you are, and becoming the best you can be with what you have.

Debra:                     You were lucky that your parents walked that journey, but I would assume your parents might not have had as much success in school, or maybe … They had to learn themselves and then they started having babies that had ADHD, so-

David:                      Yes.

Debra:                     You’re the fourth, so you got the benefit of all the lessons learned before-

David:                      Yes. I had the benefit of all the practice they had with themselves and my brothers. That’s why I stayed. My second brother had a very difficult time. My first brother, the eldest one, I think he had a very difficult time as well because he didn’t even go to college, because it was very hard for him doing math and all those things that, for me, became easier because when they prescribed Ritalin to us, Ritalin makes synapses longer, right? That’s the main effect, but it has other side effects.

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      My brothers felt like it was a drug that they had to take and they focused on the side effects, not on the main purpose of the pill. My second brother, he didn’t like to take Ritalin because it made him feel like he had to focus all his attention on studying and he couldn’t have friends.

Debra:                     Ah, wow. Right.

David:                      He hated Ritalin. My first brother, I think, it was sort of the same thing. He started being bullied because of bad handling by the school, by the teachers, they didn’t know how to handle things. It made him not want to perform at school. It’s something about motivation that has to do with everything around you. Your environment is critical-

Debra:                     It is and-

David:                      For [inaudible 00:14:57] to provide motivation to do-

Debra:                     Right, you’re deciding who you are. Right, you’re-

David:                      Exactly.

Debra:                     Evolving into this person that you’re going to become. It sounds like your family really helped the school learn how to best accommodate your brothers and you?

David:                      Yes. That’s a very interesting story, because we were in a private school here in Costa Rica. It’s called St. John. It was actually starting when my brothers had started going there. They had to learn on the fly, right? Learn to fly the plane while they were building it. They started building that plane and when it was my time, it was a lot better handled, right? They had a lot more information. With my brothers it was different. Right now, I actually followup on that school, because I love my school. I went there I think more than 12 years, so I love it. They are the only school in Costa Rica that’s prepared to handle Asperger kids-

Debra:                     Okay, okay.

David:                      And include them in every single situation and scenario in the school. They’re actually sought by parents with Asperger kids to bring their kids to that school.

Debra:                     Oh, okay.

David:                      I think it has to do with the training that they had with all of the different people that started coming behind us.

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      Because-

Debra:                     We’re learning-

David:                      We were there from the beginning. We were there from the beginning. My parents met the director and realized that she was going to put a school, and they said, “Well, let’s go with her, because she knows how to speak English and we want our kids to speak English.” That’s the whole decision process that they took.

Debra:                     Well, and English as we know is important, because … It’s interesting that if you’re not speaking English, as you said earlier, you actually are being left out as well. I know it’s a huge issue all over the world. Assistive technology and tools like that, that can really help accommodate people with disabilities are often in English, they’re not in Spanish, or Arabic, or Turkish, or other languages. I think that would be discouraging, that you know there’s a tool that could actually help you be more effective and you can’t get it, because it’s not available to you because it’s in a language that you don’t speak, or you can’t afford it, or there’s no way you can get to it. I know all of those things really, really speak to both of us. You want to just talk about that a little bit more? Because I know you’re really passionate about making sure your country and the other Spanish-speaking countries are not forgotten.

David:                      Well, that’s was something that I was going to mention. Here in Central America, just Central America, we have around five or six different countries, right?

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      If you count Belize, we’re six. In these five countries, there are actually five different ways to speak LESCO, sign language. In Costa Rica it’s called LESCO. In El Salvador it’s called something else. That’s something that makes it very, very hard for companies, for developers, to really develop something that can help all the people with hearing impairment, because we’re talking about that in a region that’s smaller than half the United States, it’s actually smaller than a quarter of the United States, we have so many differences. If you’re counting all of the other countries in Latin America, they all speak different languages in sign language and they all speak different languages in braille because it has … There are specific phrases, and there are specific things, and they are actually communities in this country, they’re actually very protected about their language. Because one of the proposals we tried to make was, “Maybe we should develop and standardize language for all of us, so that developers can crack the code and access people.” They said, “No, because it’s part of our identity. This is who were are. We’re not going to change the way we speak just to be like the people in the United States.”

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      It made a lot of sense. It’s something that if you don’t ask, you never realize it. These communities are held by their customs, what they feel, what they think, it’s all translated into language and language becomes fundamental in every single way. Not only speaking English, but the other types of communication that there exists must be available for everyone.

Debra:                     Right, and I-

David:                      Yes, go ahead.

Debra:                     Well, I know in the United States that American sign language is very common, but it’s not spoken like you said, in other countries, it’s British sign language and others. It does become very difficult for people that are deaf and hard of hearing to be fully included, especially when you’re going outside your country. I just want to ask you something else that I thought was very interesting. I, living in the United States, know that there’s six countries in Central America, but at the conference only five countries were there. Belize wasn’t there and I remember asking you this question, because if they’re six countries in Central America, why aren’t all six there? Five of those countries speak Spanish and Belize speaks English.

David:                      Exactly.

Debra:                     Yeah, so it was like-

David:                      Exactly. In Belize the colonization process, they were colonized by the British. All of us were colonized by the Spanish people, so we learned to speak Spanish and they learned to speak English. It’s the same thing with the Caribbean. We would love to include the Caribbean in most of the conversations that we have, but it’s impossible for us because they speak English.

Debra:                     Right, right, and so-

David:                      Or creole and all their dialects that are very, very difficult for them to be included because there’s not even translators.

Debra:                     Right, right. How do we start solving some of these problems and making sure that … Because another thing I learned at the conference was that I know that, for example, the United States does census and we try to count how many people with disabilities so that we know what the needs are and things like that. Not all of the countries in the world do census and certainly not all of them in Central America and I remember somebody talking about one of the countries, I think it was in Panama, that whenever the workers were trying to go out into the farms and out to the villages and figure out how many people with disabilities, children and things like that, were in Panama, way out in the country. Some of the families were really afraid to talk to these people. They didn’t know if they were coming to try to take away their children, or they were just really afraid of them. I thought, “Oh, I never even think about that as a problem,” which is why it’s so important countries have to be engaged in solving their own problems. It can’t just be, “Oh, I’m from the United States. Let me come in and solve all your problems, David,” because we don’t-

David:                      No-

Debra:                     Handle-

David:                      It’s not going to happen.

Debra:                     Right, we don’t understand the nuances, which is why I’m very excited to have you as part of the team as well. Do you mind elaborating on some of that? Because I was fascinated by some of those stories about this.

David:                      Yes. It is a very interesting topic, because Central America even though it’s Central American, it’s a region and it’s one of the most organized regions in the world regarding union of … How do you say it? Economic systems and everything. We’re very, very different countries, one from another, one-

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      It’s simply amazing how different even our governments are with our neighbors here in Nicaragua and our neighbors there in Panama. The thing is, in Costa Rica we had the benefit of after 1948 we had a revolution that changed the constitution, right? With that change came a very, very stable period in our history where we haven’t had problems on our democracy since then. There hasn’t been one attempt at a coup, one attempt at anything. It has been the most stable democratic system in Latin America, besides [Uruguay 00:24:02]. That instability gave us a lot of tools. Actually, in Costa Rica the censuses are made and people aren’t afraid because there’s no conflict in Costa Rica, so they go out and talk to these people, but they’re afraid of other things.

                                    Because we were talking about the Panamanians being afraid that they were going to take their children away. Here, they’re afraid that they’re going to charge them more if they have three TV’s in the house and they don’t want to say how many TV’s they have, because the census is global. It talks about every single aspect of the country’s life. When they come here to my house they ask about their kids, about what they’re doing, about what’s going on, about how many TV’s they have, because they have to have all this information to plan. That’s what they say, right? Actually, in Costa Rica I have information. I don’t have the exact number, but we have a … 15% of Costa Ricans have disabilities and of that 15%, 65% are unemployed.

Debra:                     Yeah, yep, yep.

David:                      In other countries in Central America the census process it’s much harder, because the conflict is there. In Guatemala, the narco traffic conflict is one of the biggest issues that there is. There’s actually certain parts of Guatemala that cannot be accessed by police.

Debra:                     Yeah.

David:                      It’s what we call, a failed state. This is not to talk badly about Guatemala, because it’s simply that the situation is out of their hands. There’s no way that the government right now can control it with what they have.

Debra:                     Right, right.

David:                      That happens also in El Salvador with the [inaudible 00:25:57] and the Honduras. They’re groups and gangs that are constantly making it difficult for the country to grow, because it’s making it a lot more insecure, that’s the word.

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      There’s actually … I don’t know if it was in Honduras or in El Salvador, but a couple of years ago assassinations on the street became a health issue, so many people were dying that it was a health issue. It was no longer a security issue, it was … You had more chances of being killed when you went out on the street by contracting a disease.

Debra:                     Wow, wow. Some of those things are happening in other parts of the world. I know in the US we have … I read a statistic the other day that in Chicago 1,700 people have been killed since the beginning of the year. I mean, the numbers are … We have lost control in certain parts of the United States and other countries as well of situations because of gangs, and drugs, and violence [crosstalk 00:27:07], things like that as well. It’s just so … To me, you have all of that, but you have the language and the cultural differences of the different … The Caribbean, and Central America, and Latin America. There’s a lot of work to do and it’s very important that the people come together and work together just like your family did. Your mother and your father said, “Okay. What can we learn? How can we help our children and, by the way, then how can we help the school make sure other children are provided?”

                                    Also David, I think it’s really powerful what you were saying that, you made it cool to have ADHD. I also have ADHD. I was diagnosed just a couple of years ago and I had a lot of friends say, “Oh yeah Debra, we knew you were for years,” but what I … Yeah. What I didn’t realize was the anxiety part of ADHD. I’m starting to realize that, for example, if I’m driving in the car, and my daughter’s singing, and the phone rings, I start getting overwhelmed by too many things trying to grab my attention. Just learning how my brain works and how I best respond to all kind of stimuli has been very interesting and I’ve wondered, would I be … Because I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a super good student. I was a middle student. I was about B’s and C’s. Every once in a while I’d make an A. Every once in a while I’d make worse than a C. I got by, I graduated, I had some college, but I often wonder, what would’ve happened if … I’m also obviously a lot older than you, but could I … Would I have had a more successful career in school, sort of like your brothers, if I’d gotten more support.

                                    At the time, because my siblings I think have ADHD as well. One is diagnosed. Some of my other siblings had a much harder time in school, like you were saying about yours, than I did. Since they were struggling so much, the focus was really put on them, as opposed to me, because I was getting by, so [crosstalk 00:29:24] “Don’t worry about her.” It’s not a criticism of the schools or our family. We all have to learn this together, but the multidimensional issues and we’re seeing a lot of people that are Spanish speakers in the United States, just looking at it from that lens, being really terribly left out. Not being really included in special education, not getting assistive technology, the accommodations they need. It’s a huge issue that I know you and I have spent a lot of time talking about and that is something you’re very passionate about helping to change. I don’t know if you want to-

David:                      Well yes, and there’s a lot of topics [inaudible 00:30:02] what you said, but the main thing that I can take out of that is that a community working together-

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      For something, it’s always going to be better. The way to include all of Central America in one same project is to include the people that want to make a difference that belong to the community where you want to make a difference.

Debra:                     That’s right.

David:                      That’s why … We were talking about Sister Anna in Panama-

Debra:                     Yes.

David:                      She’s a wheelchair user, but she’s a leader in every aspect of her life and she takes everything with such force, and power, and makes it better with the way she speaks that you simply want to work with people like that.

Debra:                     Yes, I loved her, I loved her.

David:                      If you take people like Sister Anna in other countries in Central America and put them together and if they don’t speak English, translate what is being said-

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      In English for them to be able to use it, it’s going to be a great impact.

Debra:                     I agree.

David:                      In every aspect of policy making, and projects, and things that we can do regarding the different aspects of ADHD and the way schools have to grow and how to deal with it. It’s very different from person-to-person. It’s going to be different on how you deal with it because your environment is going to be different. It happened with my brothers, as you were saying. We had different scenarios in our lives because my parents and the school was learning with them, so I got the best part of it. There’s no other thing there. Different to what you were saying about your family, where your brothers got the most attention-

Debra:                     Because they were struggling so bad.

David:                      Because they were struggling. In my house, because they knew that we all had the same problem-

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      We received the same attention, the same attention. There was nothing more that they could’ve done for us here in our house to make us do well in school, so that’s why at least all of us finished school.

Debra:                     Right, right. Look at you, at 25 you’ve already had an illustrious career and I really think you’re going to change the world. David, I’m going to ask you one more question. Once again, we’re going to have you back on the program multiple times, because there’s a lot of things that I think that we need to talk about and I think … I feel very led to talk about what’s happening in Central America, and Latin America, and to our Spanish speakers. I just feel very led to talk about it. What are your plans David, what are you going to do? I mean, talk a little bit … I know you and I … I’m really honored that you joined my team. Tell the viewers what your title is and what some of the things you want to do to make a difference. Right now you’re with my company, but we just want to give you the wings you need to make a difference, just like your parents did and your brothers did.

David:                      Okay. I’m Ruh Global’s Communications new Chief Global Strategist. That is a position that involves expansion. What we’re going to try to do is try to bring what Ruh Global Communications is offering to companies and corporations in the United States to Latin America. We’re going to do that through the information that those same companies have in the states and bring it to Central America, because most of those companies are actually already investing in Central America and growing their businesses here in Central America. Trying to show that it’s not only corporate responsibility to help people with disabilities, it’s actually a good business to help people with disabilities.

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      That’s something that I really want to bring to the table here in Central America, and it’s going to be something that hasn’t been done, and it is something that is going to be revolutionary for a lot of people here, because they only see disability as a charitable act.

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      Nothing else. What I can do to help people with disabilities and if I hire people with disabilities, it’s because I’m being charitable.

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      That’s a mindset that we have to change. There’s no way that people think that having a disability is a disadvantage. I think it … It has to do with the name.

Debra:                     I think so too. I think so too.

David:                      Disability and disadvantage are very similar, but it’s not at all the same thing. They’re simply different people that can solve problems a different way and having different mindsets in your company is going to bring a lot of benefit. It’s like what you were saying, having the perspective of I’m a millennial and I’m a Spanish speaking person, it’s going to change the way that you’re seeing some problems in your company. Having all of our other teammate’s perspectives, it’s obviously going to impact the way I am seeing things, the way that we are working together, and the way that we are solving the problems that we’re setting out to solve. There’s a lot of things that we can do. There’s a lot of things that we have to do and that we will do together. The thing that I wanted to finish with, it’s actually from a book, a very nice book. It’s called the ADHD Advantage. It talks about other people with ADHD that have taken the fact that they were ADHD and made great things with it. Most of them are CEOs and very important people.

Debra:                     Yes. David, another thing I think that I want to talk about, just before we … In the interview, is we are … This is one reason why I think you and I connected, is we don’t want to do this alone. We want to work with United Nations, we want to work with the disability organizations, we want to work with the corporations. We just want to make sure that, we don’t even care who does it, we don’t care who gets credit for it, we don’t care, but this is something that we have to do. I’ve been blessed to visit Costa Rica a few times. Love it. I was surprised at all of the American corporations that I saw over there when I visited Costa Rica a few years ago. You said, it’s getting … It’s becoming very common. A lot of outsourcing happening in Central America, especially in Costa Rica where so much of the workforce is educated and are English speakers. There’s a lot of things that are happening.

                                    I’ve recently done a lot of work with the International Labor Organization, as you know, and they are trying to help multinational corporations have a global conversation about disability inclusion from a global lens. Because I had a corporation in France reach out to me and start asking me questions about, “How do they effectively include people with disabilities in the workforce in the United States?” Of course, there’s a lot of variables there. Then you go and … How do you do that in Costa Rica? Well, how do you do it in Nicaragua? How do you do it Guatemala? How do you do it in Brazil? How do you … These corporations have a lot of things that they have to do and they want to hire qualified people with disabilities for their workforce, but there’s so many variables. I think that’s why having people like you in the conversation, and all of the other entities, and collaborating is just so critical, and the universities as well.

David:                      Of course, of course. Collaboration’s going to be critical in every step of the way. There’s no way that one company, one organization can do everything that needs to be done alone-

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      Because, as you said, variables are enormous, are unquantifiable-

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      In every aspect of what we’re doing. To take into account everything, it’s going to be a process of trial and error in a lot of aspects, so we’re going to have to learn on the way as we have said a lot of times in this interview. Learning isn’t standing still and seeing problems happen and stay the same way. If we make mistakes, it’s going to be a good thing for us [crosstalk 00:38:49]. It’s going to be actually, we’re growing, we’re trying to do something, we’re helping. We’re trying to help, maybe not the way that we want, but it’s going to get there.

Debra:                     Right.

David:                      We’re going to get there somehow and it’s going to take all of us together working with organizations [inaudible 00:39:06] like UNESCO, that want to do great things. It’s going to take them too. It’s going to take companies, it’s going to take corporations, it’s going to take governments, but bringing everyone together, it’s only going to benefit the end result and that’s giving a better life to people with disabilities. That’s what we want.

Debra:                     Well said. Kudos and special thanks to your parents for leading and creating amazing children that are going to lead the world, David. I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation with you. Thanks for being on today.

David:                      Thank you. I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation and that’s true. My parents deserve all the credit about what I’ve done, and what my brothers have done, and a lot of things that have happened here with ADHD in my school, and everything that my parents [inaudible 00:39:57] deserve all the credit. I want to read the part of the book that I was talking about.

Debra:                     Okay.

David:                      It’s from the book, The ADHD Advantage. It’s a quote by Brian Scudamore. It says, “Accept your ADHD as a gift. Embrace it. Harness the creative energy that ADHD gives you to dream differently.”

Debra:                     Oh, beautiful.

David:                      I think it applies to every single disability.

Debra:                     I agree.

David:                      Every single person.

Debra:                     We’re not broken.

David:                      Nobody’s broken.

Debra:                     Yeah, people are not broken. No, you’re not broken, you-

David:                      People are not broken. They’re simply different and they deserve to harness what they have and be great [inaudible 00:40:37].

Debra:                     That’s why I’m so glad to have you on the team, David. Thank you for joining the show today.

David:                      Thank you, Debra.

Debra:                     Bye everyone.

David:                      Goodbye everyone.


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You’ve been listening to Human Potential at Work with Debra Ruh. To learn about Debra and how she can help your organization, visit RuhGlobal.com. If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and you want to make sure that you don’t miss any future episodes, go to iTunes and subscribe to the podcast, Human Potential at Work. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll be back next week with a new episode.