Monday, September 16, 2019

Disability is not inability

There is an assertion that everyone was created in God’s image according to the Bible. This has left many people baffled on the exact image that is a true reflection of God. In addition to this, there is the question of which gender he belongs to and this brings us to a question which is; is there a person who is 100% normal and perfect? People cannot acknowledge the fact that everyone is different. A large number is fond of looking around and stereotyping and this makes people feel discouraged. A school is an institution in which people from different backgrounds converge all with the aim of attaining Education. The diverse background present people who have different body shapes, different body sizes and all sorts of illnesses and physical disabilities. I credit the school as being a turning point of my perception of the physically challenged to an extent of indulging in campaigns that echo the cliche that goes â€Å"disability is not inability†. I was brought up in a humble background but my parents were able to provide luxuries on top of basic necessities. The neighborhood was friendly and the kids I played with seemed normal to me. At this age, my vocabulary was limited and one of the deficient vocabularies in the little I possessed was ‘disability’. Things seemed normal till I enrolled in elementary school. For the first time, I came across a pupil who hobbled around the compound since one of his legs was shorter than the other. This peculiar walking style earned him a wide range of nicknames of which he could boast of none. I vividly remember my RECALLING A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE3 close friend likening him with the ‘hyenas’ of Africa which were featured in National geographic. John was avoided like a plague since no one wanted to be associated with him. This affected him mentally and he was always withdrawn for he was always left out while other kids engaged one another in play. Later, I enrolled in high school and by then, I was able to differentiate good from evil. The school proved to be a habitat for all sorts of people who had very different and conflicting views. In the first grade, I met Mike who up to date reminds me my former elementary schoolmate John. Mike seemed to have all sorts of disabilities combined. He suffered from polio, a disease that had weakened his legs and he walked around in clutches. To crown his troubles, he was partially deaf. This implies that walking was a problem and also you had to shout for him to hear. One afternoon as he was walking down the hallway, a group of notorious boys who walked in a gang of six approached him from behind. I had a feeling that something was about to happen and true to my prediction; they shoved him out of the way and gave him a send off package of insults. For the first time, I felt like crying because of an injustice not done to me but to a physically challenged person. I did nothing out of the fear of receiving the same treatment from the terror gang. To my amazement, a girl came out of nowhere and picked mike and consoled him. I felt so ashamed since I had done nothing. This RECALLING A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE4 occurrence disturbed me so much emotionally and when we were having dinner that evening, I felt that it was the right moment to share the disturbing experience. Emotions occupied the best part of my mother to an extent of being unable to eat. It is then that she prescribed an essay which was a personal reflection of a physically challenged individual as he narrated what he underwent while he was in high school. The individual was subjected to humiliation and he remembers a time he was accused of ruining the graduation ceremony by his friends since he could not climb the five stairs. He was also burdened with group work assignments for his friends argued that he had more free time since he did not play. Laurie Stephens has overridden all the prejudices and boasts to be one of the worlds greatest skiers in the world (Dorff, 12). The article was more than captivating to me based on how he delivers the words creating a feeling of empathy. This made me realize that I had to make a difference in the society no matter how small it would be. Working with special needs kids is not something everybody wants to experience. Having the strength, drive and patience is what one needs to be able to work with special needs people. All through high school, the special needs students had their own classrooms’ and were not viewed as part of the school. I realized that though I could not be able to offer authoritative assistance and order them to be integrated with other students, I could convince my classmates to associate with the physically challenged and RECALLING A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE5 even visiting their classes. This creates a sense of belonging. However, not all the affected viewed this as a good decision since some viewed that they were being undermined and not being complete human beings. Through exposure to a wide variety of readings focusing on the physically challenged, I am equipped with the knowledge that while others will recognize the efforts, some will just dismiss it on the grounds that one has malicious intentions behind the support. I have enrolled in a part time course which is the sociology of disability. This has enabled me to have a better perception of people with disabilities. This has broadened my mind in the sense that I am able to extend and transform what I learn in books to real life experiences. I have developed an affection towards people who have physical challenges. No one decides how to be born and also a normal person can become physically challenged due to an accident. An example can be derived from the large number of people who were rendered physically challenged as a result of post effects of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. Statistics has it that over 70,000 people died as a result of thermoradiation. However, the disturbing news is that people continue to suffer up to date as a result of the chemical reactions. Many people in these countries are born with malformations (Lindee, 84). The best I can do for such people is to sensitize the community to accept them the way they are and make them feel as fellow human beings. My life has been a journey from ignorance to a full combatant of the physically challenged rights. RECALLING A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE6 I have joined numerous welfare organizations that seek to recognize the less privileged in the society. I am at the forefront in the battle of empowering the disabled in the society. This has transformed me from someone who just understands disability to someone who has experienced disability.

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