Expectations play an important role in our lives, often behind the scenes. Both anecdotal evidence and research prove that the assumptions other people have about our abilities are quite influential and have a long-lasting effect. That’s why raising expectations is a goal that runs through all of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council work, and that’s why we’ve decided to create a short message that will spur all of us–family members, providers, educators, employers, everyday citizens–to stop and think twice about what we think people with disabilities can do:
These hashtags were developed by a group of people with disabilities, parents, providers, educators, and other professionals who engaged in brainstorming sessions, ultimately deciding that these words best speak to raising expectations of people with disabilities.
We know that hashtags alone won’t change minds or actions, but by conveying a simple point they can raise consciousness, if only for a moment. And, it’s what we attach to the hashtags–personal stories, news articles, event announcements or resources– that provide the deeper
meaning about the power of raised expectations. These messages can make us stop and be more aware of our assumptions, our actions, and the barriers we might inadvertently construct.
We’ll start using the hashtags on social media along with quotes from people we support about how expectations have made a difference to them, but we don’t want it to end there. We want this message to reach the many people who play important roles in the lives of people with