Sunday, July 30, 2006


Rethinking Disability

In the last 10 days or so I have been thinking again about disability. I mean I do think about disability more than I used to before, however a couple of incidences have happened which have kinda made me look at it again.

It dawned upon me that many organisations are still not properly equipped with dealing with disability in the hands and / or elbows. Sadly though, my own interpretation of life events is that hand-related disability will increase in the future. Already I know a number of individuals with similar problems to myself. Scary yes – but the truth of the matter is that it is only coming to surface now.. and have our employers fully equipped themselves for this new disability?

Employers have a duty to employ people with disabilities in capacities which don’t aggravate the disability. A duty to acknowledge that people like myself do have a disability and thus we should not be asked to face scenarios which would result in a detriment of our health any further. My own suggestion is that more and more jobs working with IT should have at least 10% provision to include a Pen and Tablet alternative aswell as more ergonomic keyboards. This is only a humble amount considering many organisations don’t even have one pen and tablet set!

On another note I visited a museum yesterday which has those awful rotating kind of doors (I’m not even sure what they are called).. I cannot use those doors as it is very difficult to push them, so I asked for the disability access door to be opened. The only problem was – this was a door which one had to ‘push’ open too!

And then whilst looking at the exhibit I noticed many items in glass cases with labels faced downwards as opposed to hung upright.. only that they were like 4 foot above the ground – and I thought: How in the world is someone in a wheelchair supposed to read what this archive is?

I mean is disability provision only limited to widening our entrances and aisles?

Because it shouldn’t be.

Space and buildings should be accommodating of the variety of disabilities. One of the greatest disability that we don’t even speak of in our communities is the disability we often don’t clearly see: mental health problems.

How do people who are recovering from mental illness cope and get about? What do you think someone with mental health problems looks like? What are your stereotypes of people with mental health problems? Do you think you will ‘catch’ depression from them? Do you fear people with mental health problems? Do you know that there is a whole spectrum of conditions which is classified as mental illness? Or are you someone who doesn’t believe that depression is true?

I think we have to ask ourselves these questions because we live in an ever-complex world. We don’t know what life has stored for us. I continue to sit here and think about disability and about how many more heavy doors I may have to push open…

More Reads:

Who has the real disability?

How Sure let me down

Mental health terminology


I found this article of yours very insightful. Thank you for the links too.
Walaikumslam Khadiijah :-)

Welcome to Camel-Land my love x x x

Thank you for the comment - glad you found it useful dear.
Sadly, it does seem to be a topic that many people shy away from.. perhaps because we have such narrow-definitions of what the term disability refers to.. or perhapbs because many of us continue to be ignorant about disability?

We need to shift our mind-sets a little forward.

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