Have I ever told you about my friend Caroline Casey?
She’s been one of my favourite people since we were about 13 and gallivanting around the muddier corners of North Tipperary together. She’s hilarious! She is the only person with whom I have semi-regular blueberry muffin battles. She does some incredible things. She once went all the way across India solo on the back of an elephant. She then bought that elephant and gave her a nice home. She did a four-month ‘Round The World In 80 Ways’ trip that included travelling by hot air balloon, Harley, Santa sleigh and ostrich. She founded the Aisling Foundation, the Irish Ability Awards, Binc Global and Valuable Tribe. She was the subject of a National Geographic documentary. She’s given a TED talk.
Oh yeah, and she’s legally blind.
But that doesn’t stop her doing things. In fact, a lot of the elephant/ostrich/air balloon things she does are to point out that the one billion people living with disabilities worldwide do and can do amazing things… and the world and employers should pay attention to that.
At the moment, having had her first horse riding lessons just days before taking to the trail, Caroline is somewhere in the wilds of Colombia in the middle of a 1000 kilometre journey, on horseback, on her way to Bogota to speak at One Young World to tell business leaders and companies just that – people with disabilities are valuable.
I thought I would tell you the same thing. Maybe you run a business or are in charge of employing people… or maybe you know people who do such things… if so, encourage them to step up and show their support for Valuable! If you overlook people with disabilities, you might miss out on someone who could give top tips on how best to ride on an ostrich. You might miss out on employing someone who has the ability to gift a go on their elephant in the office Secret Santa. You might miss out on some super incredible people who do super incredible things. And that would be an enormous waste.
If you’d like to read about Valuable’s revolution to put inclusion of disability on the business agenda and to encourage 500 business leaders to put disability on their fancy businessy whiteboards, click here... and then join them!
If you’d like to find out more about how far Ms Casey and her four-legged friend have got, have a wee look at her posts on Blaze The Trail.
If you’d like to check out Caroline’s TED talk, click here.
If you’d like to admire a photo of Caroline with two fine horses in The Guardian, go here.
Would you prefer to read about her in Spanish? Here’s El Pais.
If you’d like to see our preferred brand of duelling blueberry muffin, click here.