Persons with Disabilities, Children with Disabilities, PWDs, PWD, Disability Awareness, Inclusion, Inclusivity for All, Culture, Tradition, Beliefs, Technology, Assistive Technology,

‘Disability is not inability!’ do you consider it a cliché? Or an inspiration worth living for?

How often do people sit down to ponder about what this phrase truly means? Is it only relevant for Persons with disabilities? Well, I think it does not! The phrase speaks to all persons in a society. Whether you have a disability or not, we all have the power and responsibility to make the society inclusive for every person and in equal measures.

The Market Place.

To begin with, think of persons with disabilities as potential customers and consumers of your products and services. Most companies and businesses get their products and services advertised in a discriminative manner with no consideration to the Deaf who consume the same products. Some marketing strategies also ignore Persons with Disabilities (PWD) because they assume that, PWDs being a minority have no purchasing power. If television advertisements could be done in Sign language as well, then maybe a segment of consumers would not be left out.

It is only by interacting and working with a PWD that one will get to see and explore their potential in the work environment. Employers should stop dismissing Persons with disabilities just because they are either unable to navigate around as fast as everybody else. I believe there is a place every person fits in an organization or institution. Employing PWDs is a step towards achieving a better society that is inclusive of all persons. In fact, it would be comforting to have companies coming up with employment policies that demand a certain percentage of employees be Persons with Disabilities to fulfill aspirations of the government policy of at least 5% employees both in private and public sector to be PWDs.

Social Amenities and Film roles.

Lack of accessible social amenities in public places for Persons with Disabilities is the most discriminative issue a PWD might encounter.

 It is sad to see a person on the wheel chair carried up the stairs because the building he/she wants to access has no ramp for easy accessibility. It is even sadder to have washrooms in public offices or places built in a way that does not favor PWDs not forgetting their dirty floors. Remembering this set of minority group when setting up social amenities is important because it makes their day to day activities more comfortable and convenient.

The Film Industry has a bigger role in fighting stigma and discrimination. Why have an abled bodied person play the role of a person with disability when there is an interested and talented PWD who fits the role? After all, who can play the role of a PWD better than a PWD? Film directors and producers should consider hiring more actors with Disabilities to take up their character roles.

Seeing a Person with Disability on the mainstream media encourages young people with disabilities to forge forward, explore and show their worth to world. The media industries ought to improve in matters of inclusivity and work with society to fully accept disability as part of human nature and not a flaw or an imperfection.

The common song ‘Disability is not Inability’ will never be enough, however, creating opportunities for Persons with Disabilities to explore freely and making them comfortable as well could just be a step to realizing the real message of this commonly used Cliché.       

Article By: Linzer Kibebe

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