Over the past years people with any form of disability were usually hidden away from the society and denied the chance of living a normal life. However currently this situation has changed but not for the better since despite not being hidden they are now shut out of homes, buildings, schools, sports centers among other places. A lot of people in the society view disability as someone else’s predicament.
They do not see any way in which disability can change their lives or give it a shot and try experience taking care of an individual with a disability. And it is for this reason that physical difference or disability can be confronting as quite a minimal percentage of people are used to experiencing relationships with the impaired. To them whenever they see disability in the media they take it as a life to be pitied (Stanback, 2016).
Additionally, it is true that most able-bodied people feel awkward being around disabled ones. Although not most admit it publicly, through research this has been found true. It is astonishing knowing that about 70% of the world’s population not only feel ill at ease but also panic and try by all means possible avoid contacting physically challenged people. No wonder the impaired are hardly invited to social occasions. It is quite sad knowing that very few non-impaired people have ever been on a date or asked out someone disabled.
On the bright side individuals with disabilities have emerged to show their strength and determination. They have not accepted the fate cursed upon them by others but instead they have chosen to fight towards achieving their goals. Most employers and people in general who are not disabled have always assumed that certain tasks or jobs cannot be done by the physically challenged. To their dismay, each day the impaired have been up to proving how to wrong they are (Darling, 2013). In addition to disabled people and their family members being innovative and resourceful, they try finding ways to tackle challenges that come their way.
It does not go unnoticed that individual employees take the disabled to be stupid. For instance going to a restaurant, a store in the mall or just any public place that has employees and 50 times out of a hundred the employee is likely to assume an individual to be ill-equipped mentally just because they are physically disabled. The society needs to be brainwashed and change those people with this kind of mentality.
In certain cases, a disabled person might want to meet with a friend for either coffee or lunch only to discover that they cannot get in as that particular public venue has not adhered to all the ADA requirements (Weber, 2012). The annoying part of the matter is how most owners of such places do not care at all as they assume like all their customers are able-bodied people. To them making stairs for wheelchairs is an unnecessary extra expense.
Our culture is embedded with the medical perspective of disability taking into assumption that those physically disabled have problems and seek remediation. However, the meaning of disability is not fixed as it keeps on changing over time and place. For instance in the past century or so disability was taken to be a burden and able-bodied neighbors and friends did not like to associate with the physically challenged. But there has been a positive change in the culture of most people in regards to disability, and it is starting to be viewed as a normal thing.
In conclusion, even with the current advancement in technology, there are still cases whereby the physically challenged are discriminated. The kind of discrimination they go through not mean being misunderstood or being mistreated but also being taken to be just matter occupying space. This sort of treatment can be traumatizing and may even result in giving up on life. It is, therefore, necessary to be passing the message of hope and inspiration to the impaired and have faith in the potential they have as disability is not inability.
- Darling, R. B. (2013). Disability and identity: Negotiating self in a changing society.
- Stanback, E. B. (2016). Disability, Sympathy, and Encounter in Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads (1798). Disabling Romanticism, 49-69.
- Weber, M. C. (2012). Understanding disability law. New Providence, NJ: LexisNexis.