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To make a better world I would try to change how people with physical and intellectual disabilities are treated and perceived. I work toward a world in which they are celebrated instead of marginalized. My hope is that people with disabilities will be welcomed to share the unique gifts they have to offer. My dream is that people with disabilities become a vital part of the conversation on what it means to live fully.
Discrimination, although generally means the action of separate or distinguish things from one another, also, from the socio-psychological perspective suggests inadequate and different treatment given to a person or group of people for different reasons among them is the physical disability.
“Discrimination against people with disabilities in favor of people who are not is called ableism or disablism.
Disability discrimination, which treats non-disabled individuals as the standard of ‘normal living’, results in public and private places and services, education, and social work that are built to serve ‘standard’ people, thereby excluding those with various disabilities”1.
There are several laws that address ableism, such as: “The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted on July 26, 1990, is the United States’ most far-reaching attempt to combat discrimination on the basis of disabilities”2.
The purpose of the Act is to define who is covered by it, what illegal discrimination is, and which the legal resources are. This law aims to protect those who have a physical or mental disability that limits the development of one or more of its core activities, such as seeing, working, walking, listening or even breathe.
Although different countries legislation provides for non-discrimination and is declared as a rare phenomenon in our society, however, discrimination is not eliminated by decree, neither by legislation.
It is enough that someone feels discriminated, so that there is, from the perception of the one who suffer, we can say that there is discrimination. Disabled people sometimes feel some unfair treatment, arbitrary different and difficult to prove, but suggests that discrimination. This is bound to feel little attention from ordinary people, certain treatment which they say is different from what is given to the people who do not have disabilities, which can be both negative and positive, the obstacles they presented subjectively, the little solidarity they feel, among other phenomena.
Possibly the little attention we, ordinary people give to those who have disabilities, is motivated by the little information we have about them, their potential, possibilities, difficulties, and especially their equality to others, mainly because above all they are people. We need more knowledge about these people, closer to their world, which is similar to our own and not as different as you can imagine. Moreover, the different treatment given to these people can be both negative and positive, as I mentioned above.
So, these people may give countless examples of negative treatment and rejection to them, for being different, for not “to be complete” or “to have another look” that is not established or expected by society, which draws attention, is being teased, of wonder, of segregation, isolation, and exclusion. On the other hand, may be treated differently in a positive way, but also harmful. The most common example in this regard is the overprotection to which they are subjected, implying sorry, little confidence on their abilities and segregate and apart them from the world and everyday life as human beings.
This happens at all levels, but especially at school, where they see these children as different and pitied. All this entails, without realizing, to the discrimination which they feel they suffer. For this reason, people with disability claim, rightly, more respectful treatment that gives them more attention and less teasing, equal treatment, recognizing their abilities and potential, greater awareness and solidarity. This would result in the school’s inclusion, not exclusion.
The numbers, according to the UN handbook “From Exclusion to Equality: Realizing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”, are damning: 20% of the world’s poorest people are with disabilities, 98% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school, around a third of the world’s street children live with disabilities, and the literacy rate for adults with disabilities is as low as 3%, and 1% for women with disabilities in some countries. 3 (Combating Discrimination, par2). All this is because society doesn’t give the opportunity to disabled people to work and develop to make a roll and be part of the society.
But what many people don’t know is that it is possible to overcome the so called disability barrier, and that disable people can have a normal life, and contribute to the society as any other person. Through history and nowadays there are many famous and important persons who have any disability and have achieved many goals, such as the professor Stephen Hawking, The internationally renowned Physicist, has defied time and doctor’s pronouncements that he would not live 2-years beyond his 21 years of age when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The symptoms are very similar to those of CP, Hawking cannot walk, talk, breathe easy, swallow and has difficulty in holding up his head. Hawking, 51, was told 30 years ago, when he was a not-very-remarkable college student. Now he is one of the most important scientists despite his condition. 4. (Disabled World). And even though so many disable people have succeeded in different fields of society, there’s still discrimination and rejection against this kind of people. We must understand that no matter the physical differences that can be between us, at the end we are all the same and we all have something to give to society.
It is possible to fight against this discrimination felt. Everyone can help to eliminate and / or reduce it. Recall that the problem is not the lack of mechanisms to combat it, but the ignorance of its existence, it is necessary to change our minds, to extend the awareness that a society which does not discriminate people with disabilities is a society in which all people can live better. I really admire all the disabled people, no matter what kind of disability they have, I think that you must be very brave, persistent and optimist to overcome such difficulty in your life.
It would be so much better if we all see these people in that way, rather to see them as different people incapable to do any common activity, because even though the complications they could have they learn how to live their lives in the most normal way they can. Around the world there are many foundation and organizations that help and support disable people to overcome their physical challenges so they can live a normal life, and be active in the society as anyone else. In Vancouver there is the Disability Foundation which provides opportunities for people with disabilities.
It promotes the capabilities and talents of people with physical challenges, once barriers in the physical landscape have been overcome. 5 The Disability Foundation receives support from people not only by money donations, but also by volunteer work in different programs they have. Since I would like to eliminate discrimination against disable people in order to make a better world, I would volunteer for any program I can get into in the foundation, because I really enjoy helping others and I believe that if we all did something like that once in a while for sure our world would be a better place.
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