Fight stereotypes to stay happy

Everybody are fighting to get rid of the incorrect perceptions that the society has about different things and trying to help understand plain facts as they are and persons with disabilities are no exception to this.

The major reasons why persons with disabilities face the barriers that they face is due to the attitudes that are often rooted to misinformation and improper understanding about what is disability and what it is like to live with a disability.

Persons with disabilities are often faced with myths such as:

  • People with disabilities are brave and courageous:

Well that’s not the truth. The fact is that persons with disabilities are well aware that they need to adapt to the present life style and getting too adjusted to it.  This cannot be termed as bravery or courageous.

  • All persons who use wheelchairs are chronically ill:

This also may not always be true. Sometimes, the association with a wheel chair and illness may have come about through hospitals which maybe using wheel chairs to transport sick people or one might be using wheel chair for very many different reasons none of which would be associated to the disability of a person.

  • The use of a wheel chair is confining, or in other words, the person using a wheel chair is always bound to it for life:

 The fact is that one may be using wheel chair just like others would use a bike or a motor cycle to move around, and may not be bound to it to be dependent on the other.

  • All persons suffering from hearing disability have the ability to read lips:

 The fact is that this can vary from person to person and are not always reliable.

  • People who suffer from visual impairment have got a sixth sense:

 The fact is that most persons who are visually impaired would have developed their other senses fully due to the lack of sight, but they don’t have a sixth sense.

  • People with disabilities are more comfortable with their own kind:

The truth is that, much as persons with disabilities share the same commonalities and may enjoy the company of another disabled person, they are easily adaptable to other ways of life as well, and always look for opportunities to get in to the main stream.

  • Non-disabled people are obligated to take care of people with disabilities:

 Well the fact is that, persons with disabilities may require assistance which can be offered by a non-disabled person when asked for. But as a person who has been disabled for a long time, one easily can find ways to manage things independently and feels the sense of being responsible for one’s self.

  • Many households feel children should never ask people about their disabilities as it would be embarrassing for a person with a disability:

As a matter of fact, many children have a natural curiosity and may ask questions that some adults consider embarrassing. But scolding children may mislead them to thinking that having a disability is wrong or bad. Most people with disabilities won’t mind answering a child’s question.

  • The lives of people with disabilities are totally different from the lives of people without disabilities:

This is not true as people with disabilities just like any other person goes to school, can get married, are employed, have families, are capable of doing their own house hold chores, are independent to do their own grocery shopping, have the emotions of laughter, disappointment, anger, have their own prejudices, and finally plan and have dreams like everyone else.

  • Many non-disabled people are of the impression that persons with disabilities always need help:

 The fact is that, most persons with disabilities are quite independent and are capable of offering help to others themselves. Therefore it is always better to ask before it is offered.

  • Most times most people think that there is nothing one person can do to help eliminate the barriers confronting people with disabilities:

The fact is that just as few drops of water makes a mighty ocean; every individual can contribute to making it possible.

It is only necessary to keep a few pointers in mind such as.

  • A proper Understanding on the need for accessible parking for persons with disabilities and allowing the needy ones to use it.
  • Encouraging persons with disabilities to participate in community gatherings by using sites that help in these activities are ensured to be accessible to all.
  • Giving the right guidance to children when they come across a person with a disability.
  • Advocating a barrier-free environment
  • The ability to accept people with disabilities as individuals capable of the same needs and feelings as anybody else, and ensure to hiring qualified disabled persons whenever and where ever possible.

By understanding the facts and letting the myths remain myths, persons can live a normal happy and healthy life.

(Source: easterseals.com)

Disability Entrepreneurship And Leadership (DEAL) Foundation works with persons with disabilities in the districts of Gadag and Bengaluru to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for them.  As part of our work, we also help fight the stereo types associated with disabilities and help understand the actual facts that are associated with it.

For any questions one might have regarding the blog, please write to us at info@deal-foundation.com

And to know more about the work we do, please visit www.deal-foundation.com

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