Respecting Others in International Day of Person with Disabilities
Let’s take care of each other!
This article was published on Project Child Indonesia’s website on 3 December 2021 with the same title.
Happy International of Persons with Disabilities! On this day, let’s remind again that disability is part of the human condition. Almost everyone will suffer from a temporary or permanent impairment at some point in their life. Despite this, only a few nations have enough systems in place to properly meet the needs of persons with disabilities.
Celebrated every year on 3rd December, this event’s purpose is to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities at all levels of society and development, as well as to increase awareness of their condition in all sectors of political, social, economic, and cultural life.
Why is this event important?
Because people with disabilities often get discrimination and have struggle with access the services. Just because they look different, it doesn’t mean they are not ‘normal’. With this event, we are more aware and bother to take more action with the discrimination that they face.
Quoting from a British Council interview with Phil, one of the disabled in England, Phil said, “The Social Model of Disability recognizes that some people have impairments which affect how they function physically or mentally. But they are disabled by the physical and attitudinal barriers that exist in a society, which excludes them because it does not take account of their needs”.
We must be aware that there are barriers in the environment that make the disabled person isolated from society. For example, is the reason that a person in a wheelchair cannot get on a bus because they can’t walk, or is it because the bus is not designed for people who use wheelchairs? We must believe that the bus is the problem rather than their inability to walk.
To fight this, large-scale action is required not just from the social sector, but also from the government. The first thing that has to be taken more seriously is to expand infrastructure that is accessible to people with disabilities.
Then, what can we do?
Worry not! Because everyone can do good. When the government takes serious actions, and you feel you’re not doing enough to help, just knowing the disability etiquette and giving them respect is more than enough. According to VMI, here are some disability etiquette that we can do:
- Don’t assume they see their disability as a tragedy. Many persons with disabilities have overcome difficult emotions in order to be happy and pleased with their life. An apparently innocuous comment like, “I’m very sorry that happened to you,” or something along those lines, might make a disabled person feel sad and regretful.
- Ask if he or she needs assistance before providing it. To be respectful, don’t strive to fulfill every last requirement of someone with a disability. The best option is to ask, “Is there anything I can do for you?” or “Would you like me to open the door?” Helping before asking indicates incapacity, which might offend the individual, especially if they’ve worked hard to be able to care for themselves.
- Do not underestimate the abilities of someone with a disability. Many persons with disabilities can care for themselves without the support of others. They’ve spent a long time adapting to a new way of life. Don’t worry about taking care of them since they realize what they’re capable of and what their limitations are.
Remember, the most important aspect of interacting with someone with a disability is to see that person for who he or she is, not for the disability that person has. Everyone can do good, treat them the same way as you want to be treated. Let’s take better care of each other!
Disability Etiquette: How to Respect People with Disabilities. (2016, June 28). VMI. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from https://www.vantagemobility.com/blog/disability-etiquette-dos-and-donts
Hari Disabilitas Internasional. (n.d.). British Council Indonesia. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from https://www.britishcouncil.id/hari-disabilitas-internasional
International day of persons with disabilities. (n.d.). WHO. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from https://www.who.int/campaigns/international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020. (n.d.). WHO. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2020/12/03/default-calendar/international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities