For 16 years, I led the Logistics Division of Walgreens that included more than 10,000 employees and 17 distribution centers across the country. I am also the father of two daughters and a 28-year-old son with autism. As might be expected, I am more proud of the latter than any business success I’ve enjoyed during my career.

Living with Austin gave me an uncensored, unadulterated view of some of the difficulties people with disabilities (PWDs) face every day. I know from experience that people with disabilities often frighten us because they are different in how they look, act, or speak. Tom Shakespeare, a BBC News magazine writer, born with limited growth, says many people believe that they “had rather be dead than disabled.”

Our sympathy too often turns to pity – the feeling of discomfort at the distress of another, often with a sense