Sara Ruh's business card lists her official job title as “Inspiration.” No single word could be more appropriate to describe this young Hanover resident born with Down syndrome.
In a society that just a few decades ago viewed people with her disability as little more than an unfortunate burden, Ruh pushes back.
“I'm just like everybody else,” says Ruh, whose high-energy activism — partly made possible by the love and support of her parents, Debra and Ed Ruh — has allowed her to further expand the bounds of what society understands is possible for people with handicaps. Ruh works two day jobs at Nordstrom (in the department store's cafAc) and at TecAccess, her family's career-placement company founded to help people with disabilities. She's also sought-after nationally as a keynote speaker on positive progress for the disabled. In between, she still finds time to attend classes at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.
“My disability allows me to see the world differently and with new ideas,” says Ruh, in a speech she's recently delivered to national crowds. “I help give a voice to others that may not have the ability to speak. I want to make a difference in the world. I also believe that the world is a better place because I am part of it.”