International Day for People with Disability is very important to me, as someone with a disability, and someone who knows and is friends with people with a disability. I think it’s very important that able bodied people who don’t know much, or anything at all, about people with a disability be made more aware and that negative stereotypes about disability are broken. There are one billion people around the world with some type of disability, the largest minority on the planet.
The biggest thing I want people to know about people with a disability is that we all have our own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and opinions. We’re not robots or babies and don’t want people to treat us as such. If you see someone who looks like they have a disability in the community, don’t assume they can’t think or do anything for themselves. Also, in most situations, don’t approach a person with a disability asking if they need assistance and catch them off guard, or just in general, let them come to you and ask first. At the same time, don’t be afraid to talk to them and ask questions, and if they’re comfortable and able to share details about their disability most of the time they will. But, please respect their decision if they don’t feel comfortable sharing.
Equality is a big belief of mine and unfortunately in today’s world people with a disability aren’t treated as equally as everyone else. It is definitely better than it used to be, but I believe there’s still a long way to go.
I’m a young person and my hope is that by the end of my lifetime, future generations will be more aware and better educated and I hope they treat people with a disability with the respect they deserve.
In conclusion, I believe that International Day for People with Disability should be a day to spread awareness, break negative stereotypes, and celebrate what people with a disability can do, not what they can’t do.
Written by Ethan Connolly-Kelly