December 3rd is International Day for Persons with Disabilities.
Please remember that disabilities come in all shapes and that all of them are visible to the naked eye. You don’t have to see a disability for it to be there. Just because it looks like I’m always doing well doesn’t mean I am. Spread kindness, not judgment.
Inclusion can change the future of the world.
Abled people shouldn’t be discussing which type of disabled people are valid or not. You don’t get to say that physically and visibly disabled are valid & everyone else isn’t. It’s ableist.
Think before judging someone who is using a handicap spot. For example, last year a woman was shamed for parking in a handicap spot while taking her terminally ill son to see Santa Claus. Even though she had a handicap parking pass, people wrote nasty notes on her car calling her a fake and many other nasty things that I won’t repeat.
“Before you start to judge me, step into my shoes and walk the life I’m living and if you get as far as I am, just maybe you will see how strong I really am.” – Unknown
People with disabilities don’t want special treatment. We just want access to health care and the same dignity and respect all people deserve.
It is very hard for those of you who are able-bodied to understand the frustration of not having easy access to every activity you do. You come and go uninhibited by obstacles. The world is designed for your convenience.
People with disabilities experience extreme inequalities, judgments, neglect and violence that are often overlooked. They are constantly pushed towards isolation by lack of openness, lack of access to different places, lack of opportunities, lack of consideration and respect. They are valid, they deserve to be loved and celebrated for who they are, to be treated with respect.
Please don’t point out that some days we appear better or worse. Trust me, we are aware of the days which our medication and other mitigating factors are not aligning. Going to work, every day I have several people letting me know how I am doing.
We know the depth of our disability and don’t owe anyone an explanation on how we manage life.
Most people don’t realize how unfriendly and inaccessible their cities are until they become disabled themselves or until they befriend someone with a disability. It is only then they realize how frustrating and how much time and effort it takes just to enter a place.
Establishments, parks, public and private spaces, public transportation, schools, roads and all places must be designed so that everyone can access them, regardless of their level of mobility. I feel the need to add that this is also true in winter time with snow removal.
Ramps, elevators, fairly wide corridors should be set up automatically. Interpreters for deaf and/or mentally handicap people should be present at events, in schools, in all places necessary for good inclusion and understanding.
Failing to do so is discriminatory and should be a building code issue for all future structures to accommodate everyone.
Like countless other issues in the world, I hope we rise from the sidelines to rediscover that collectively, the world is in our hands.
Do you have any suggestions to make our world more inclusive?
Blog Posts about disabilities: