Want an example of inclusion at its best? Watch the Amazing Race on Sunday nights.
This season’s race brings back racers from previous seasons – teams who did not win, but came very close to winning. And, two of my favorite teams are back!
Luke is Deaf and is racing with his mother, Margie. Zev is racing with his brother, Justin. Zev is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.
The really glorious thing? Not one iota of special attention is given to either team. They race, they stumble, they argue, they laugh, they look silly – just like every other team in the race. The show doesn’t spotlight them, advertising their ‘token’ disabled person. The host makes no big deal about it, but does impress me greatly just because he learned some sign language to be able to communicate with Luke. And that’s all the host does – communicate. He doesn’t draw attention to his signing – he doesn’t make a spectacle of Luke. He doesn’t comment about Zev’s Autism. They are two teams racing, just like all the other teams.
Luke and Zev are both funny young guys. Luke finally gets a chance to drive, and is all smiles as he gives a big thumbs up to the camera. He talks about one of the other teams – two beautiful young women – and calls then his race girlfriends.
When one of the challenges faced by all teams is to draw on their inner artist, Justin says Zev will be great at that because he is artistic. Zev says, “Autistic too!” The two young men cut up constantly and you can see in Justin’s eyes how much he admires and loves his brother.
I am thrilled to see people with disabilities on a mainstream television show where their disability is not the focus of the show. This, in my opinion, is inclusion at its best.