Historically, it seems discrimination is a rampant initiation of battles. With the advent of COVID-19 it has rapidly increased.
For instance, those with disabilities who have not dared square the trenches might not know what it means not to be understood, not to acquire information, people looking at you strangely and others making decision on your own behalf.
Most importantly, enablers of institution barriers have cropped up and there is slowness in the execution but this is a race without a finish.
In other words, inclusion cannot be realized within a day. When you have a child without disability, you feel reasonably assured that class participation and decent study habits will result in good grades. These kids have
close friends. They get invited to participate in social things like dances and weekend gatherings. They make the teams, auditioned organizations and clubs. When they are adults, they will grab the opportunities around easily.
But when you have a child with a disability this is often not the case. Learning may take longer, both academically and socially. Despite them
tremendous efforts, results are often a fraction of their peers and social acceptance is fleeting, setting them up for painful comparisons and bitter frustration.
Additionally, in most work places, concerts, sports are evidently clear coupled with the existence of the barriers of inclusion.
Instead of a fun and fulfilling experience, school can become a breeding ground for depression and anxiety, and assignments a battle ground at home. It
is exhausting for parent and child alike.
I opine that most persons with disabilities who have experienced this voyage do understand and acquire some sort of depression but do not realize.
This is the week of SPED (Special Education. We need to rise up and activate social justice system.
Children and adults with disabilities have often been bullied and maltreated at different places.
For example, in schools, public service vehicles, restaurants etc.
For all the children and adults who struggle every day to succeed in a world that does not recognize their gifts and talents, and for those who are walking beside
them, please let this be a gentle reminder to be kind and accepting of ALL people.
I believe children and adults with disabilities possess talents and gifts which have not yet been explored and need our attention and massive support.
Recognize that the “playing field” is not always a level surface.
Children and adults with disabilities who learn differently and adapt in unique ways are not weird. They are merely gifted in ways that our society does not value enough. Yet they want what everyone else wants:
To be accepted!!
If you choose, please join the disability sausage YouTube channel as we dig deep in to this analysis.
Our world would be far less beautiful without them.
The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.
Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.
Australian Chief Minister Award winner
“excellence of making inclusion happen”