My mom was a teacher...and a good one.  She taught at Sheltering Arms, part of the Minneapolis Public School System, for 20 years.  It was where the kids, who in those days we called the special ed kids, went to school.

When I was growing up, children with severe learning disabilities were kept out of the mainstream. As a kid who attended school picnics at Sheltering Arms, who'd answer the phone when mom's students called the house day or night, as someone absolutely accustomed to being around people with challenges, it always surprised me how uncomfortable others, both kids and adults, seemed in similar situations.

To a certain extent that changed in 1975 when the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) was enacted. Suddenly, special needs kids were a part of everyday life.

And that's a good thing.

Here's another good thing. The Missoula Buddy Walk begins at 11 a.m. this Saturday, Sept. 29 at Playfair Park in Missoula. For the second year Al and I will emcee the event.

The Buddy Walk has a couple of goals. Here's a quote from the Missoula Buddy Walk website:

In addition to fundraising, the goal of the Buddy Walk is to promote understanding and acceptance of people with Down Syndrome and to build a camaraderie within their communities.

So, join us Saturday morning. We'll be done before the game starts and it just might be the most important thing you do all day, or all week, or ever. You never know what's going to change your life. Or someone else's.