Written by Tosin Ade
A lot of people with disabilities are not included in the everyday life. This is because they are not given the chance to, therefore they are excluded from different areas of society.
People with disabilities deserve to be included in society. Every human being deserves the chance to live as independently and happily as possible. Individuals without disabilities should strive to include individuals with disabilities in every area of life. Every individual should be able to learn, work, play, and create.
Our society seems oblivious to the need for people with disabilities to live in an inclusive society. This is means everything from equal rights in the legal system to an inclusive economy (where they are actually hired to work) to having universal access to all public facilities.
Given the number of people living with disabilities in the United States, it is fair to say that the disability inclusion movement is a social and civic issue. Many are usually shocked to find out how much of the United States population has at least one form of disability. According to CDC, "approximately 1 in 4 (61 million) U.S adults reported a form of disability.
We as a society need to increase our understanding of and opportunities for people with disabilities. We need to begin to shift our mindset to one where we become more inclusive and value people with disabilities.
How do we build a society where people with disabilities are included in everything we do, where they are not just spectators but full participants in our community? This is a question of human rights, social justice, and a reflection of who we are as a society.
What does an inclusive society look like? In an inclusive society, we consciously facilitate interaction between people with disabilities and individuals without disabilities. We value diversity and seek to remove barriers to full participation in society. We do not give up on promoting inclusion and encouraging acceptance of disability. Rather, we view disability as part of human diversity rather than something alien or other. Within this inclusive society, we see individuals with disabilities in entertainment, literature, sports, healthcare, science, technology, and more. We treat everyone with dignity regardless of disability.
Be an ally to persons with disabilities. Accept them for who they are. We all deserve to feel valued. Inclusion starts with you.