Ever noticed that beautiful ramp created outside important buildings to facilitate entry to people with disabilities? It’s also how we get into buses, and it doesn’t take long.
Sure, it’s great. It does make things more accessible for me. But here is my question – is it the only thing I need?
We often remain so ignorant about the need of a person with certain disabilities, a reason we are a population without a voice.
Perhaps, sometimes, people need to listen to other voices. Voices that speak of their problems. Voices that tell what that person feels wrong. And voices that think about their problems. If we did a little more of that instead of just looking at our own problems, perhaps the world would be a better place.
We are now above 25 years beyond the path of ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act) – which got passed in 1990. And yet, how far or how little have we come?
The Need to Look at the Real Problems
We currently need to move beyond the wheelchair ramp while access to ADA still not all as it should be. Now the time has come we start listening to those people who are living with disabilities. They are living as a complete human being just like others the people with abilities.
What is your perception of disability? It is not easy to always answer this simple question. There are individuals living with the laws of expected physiological function or form and impairments. An individual without a lake or a person with incorrectly developed optic nerve or an individual who sustained a severe brain injury all have some form of disabilities.
A disability may be referred as the consequences of the following impairments: memory issues, blindness, and the loss of walking. On the other hand, handicap means the social disadvantage that results from an impairment.
Still, we fail to talk, take responsibility and act for individuals with disabilities. It’s not that we need pity – no. Instead, all we want is understanding. We want you to know that we still enjoy life, and still yearn to live. And for all of it, we need a society which is disabled friendly.
When we talk or communicate with people having a disability we fail to show them enough compassion.
Did you know that many disabled people are killed by none other but their parents? It’s a disturbing trend, and it happens because people around us do not seem to accept us as their own.
Or did you know that it’s difficult to do even the simplest of things you feel privileged for – like education? If we cannot cook or walk, educational institutions may not give us admissions simply because they do not want to be ‘overburdened’.
Oh, let us suppose that I did manage to get my college degree. What after that? Who would give a job to a disabled? The number of jobs for disabled people is really marginal compared to their population, and even if they can do work, it’s difficult to find an employer willing to take them on. I cannot work for instance, but I can use my hands – and yet, no matter which job I went to, I was refused – for a long time.
It’s time to change how you perceive people with disabilities. Think of us as your own, and only then can things change.