Updated: Jun 22, 2021
This video is fabulous.
Watch Megan Bomgaars, a young woman with Down syndrome, tell the educators at the Douglas County School District to “DON’T LIMIT ME!”
Hi teachers in the Douglas County School District!
My name is Megan Bomgaars and I'm here to help you with your kids in your classrooms with a disability or without a disability.
I am going to show you how to teach your students the right way.
I am a special person.
When I was in school, I made a lot of friends.
I was in regular classes with a para for support.
I learned with other students in the regular classroom.
I became a cheerleader in high school.
I was the first cheerleader in the state with Down syndrome.
My cheerleading team went to state and we went to nationals where we won our national sportsmanship award in Washington D.C.
Since I've been out of high school, I was a fashion model in a Global Down Syndrome Foundation fashion show and I used to work at the Mile High Down Syndrome Association where I helped them with events.
I now go the the Bridge Program in Highlands Ranch where I am learning to be a public speaker.
I have a lot of skills.
I have a lot of dreams.
What I want to say to you is...
Don't Limit Me!
Don't limit me by thinking that I can't learn in your classroom.
Don't limit me by thinking that I will always need someone to help me.
Don't limit me by having low expectations for me.
Include me and all of your students, in your circle of learning.
While you are planning for my world class education, think about how I have the same needs as all students.
We all needs life skills. We all need works skills.
I need for you to teach me skills beyond reading and math.
Teach me how to learn. Teach me how to act.
Think about what I need to know and be able to do when I leave school.
Help me learn to be independent in class.
Help me learn to be independent with friends.
Help me learn to be independent, and safe, moving around our school.
Teach me to be independent so I can become an independent adult.
I need to work independently. I need to speak up for myself.
Don't limit me by teaching me to depend on others.
Teach me respect, because respect is give and take.
Hold me to same behavior expectations as others in your classroom.
Teach me how to behave and excel in your class.
Don't limit me by making me your class mascot!
Teach me what you expect from me.
Set high expectations, not impossible expectations. There is a difference you know.
You will learn a lot from me.
Good teachers teach and learn with their students.
I will teach you a lot about yourself.
I will teach your students about people with disabilities.
If you don't limit me, we will teach our school how to be an inclusive community.
You, my teacher, are the person who is going to teach me power, passion, love, and independence.
And I will become a powerful, passionate, loving, and independent adult.
So please... don't limit me!
My name is Megan Bomgaars. Thank you for your time today. Have a wonderful new school year!
Tim Villegas is the Director of Communications for MCIE. Editor-in-Chief of Think Inclusive, and the host of the Think Inclusive Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @TheRealTimVegas.