As a disabled person it is really disheartening knowing that we in South Africa recently celebrated our 23rd year anniversary of our new democracy… and still not much has been done to narrow the gap between disabled people and non-disabled people, as there is still so much stigma towards people living with disabilities and special needs.
I’m not saying that we disabled people need special treatment, not at all! As this would be unrealistic and unjust in itself.
I just think that irrespective of gender, race, religion and disability we all want equal rights, treatment, respect and dignity.
People shouldn’t judge disabled people purely on what they can and cannot do; as the saying goes never judge a book by its cover.
So look at our personalities and individuality, then make your decision.
Think about… what we have in common, we are just simply differently ableD
If you have never met a disabled person before and you don’t know how to treat them, don’t think about our differences but rather about what we have in common and you will see that we are not all that different from you, we are just simply differently abled.
By Jonathan de Bruin
P.S. Jonathan would like to compile a collection of stories from differently abled South Africans, which we will publish on SAPeople.com. If you have a story you’d like to share – please write to: email@example.com
FYI: Approximately 7.5% of South Africans are disabled, and although the Employment Equity Act states that at least 3% of the workforce should be employees with disabilities, many companies prefer to rather pay the fine. And this is only the discrimination felt in the employment sector… let alone in the social world…