#Article (Archive)

Social inclusion of persons with disabilities

Feb 13, 2012, 1:05 PM

People with disabilities are disadvantaged in many aspects of social inclusion in the society.

Disability is something most people do not like to think about, but the chances for anyone to become disabled probably one day are great.

It is a fact that people affected by one form of disability or the other face discrimination, and social exclusion in many communities.

Even though they are part and parcel of the society because they are human beings, like able-bodied men and women, most disabled persons are not well involved in the country’s development activities.

For instance, take the attitude of most taxi drivers to wheel-chair bound persons. It is bad, as they see picking them as time-wasting for the cab driver.

Accessing certain national infrastructure is practically impossible for most people affected by some form of disability.

This important segment of our society lives in exclusion for many years, especially those in the provinces.

There families solely take the burden of taking care of them without any government support in a form of social security assistance, as obtains in other countries.

Lack of appropriate learning facilities in schools for people living with disabilities in the provinces makes their situation worse, and their potentials remain unharnessed.

Despite efforts by activists and disabled groups to tackle discrimination against the disabled, many with learning, walking, and hearing disabilities still have poor access to some ministries, leisure facilities and public transport.

Helping people with learning difficulties to learn a trade and contribute to the socio-economic advancement of the country is what they are now advocating for.

To us, this is a genuine call, hence supporting them would mean a lot for the country and their families.

While we have seen many law-abiding and hardworking people with disabilities, neglecting giving them sources of livelihood could drive some of them to become criminals, just like the able-bodied persons.

This, therefore, calls for us working with them and involving them in whatever we are doing, especially at the community level.

We must remember that disability does not mean inability.

Society’s attitudes towards people living with disability must change and we must see them as equally humans.