Making the right support and opportunities available to those with physical disabilities can enable them to regain control of their lives and give them a freedom that others so regularly take for granted.
People with physical disabilities can have differing or additional needs, needs that are not always met by the society that we’ve created. We’re not just talking about a lack of physical access but also discrimination, additional expenses and many other unnecessary obstacles to independence.
When living with a disability, there are often more expenses involved in day-to-day life such as carers, specialist equipment, and medication. This is especially true in countries where high priced insurance is required to cover the expenditure, not to mention that in some places, these things aren’t easily, or even available. Meeting these costs can be even harder for some as those with disabilities are less likely to be employed or treated fairly at work2.
Perhaps more pressing than these financial matters is the concern for their very safety alone. People with disabilities are significantly more likely to be victims of crime4, in fact, there are an average of 62,000 disability motivated hate crimes in the UK alone each year3.
All of this is compounded by continued issues with accessibility to transport and services despite much campaigning and even changes to law all over the world.
The best weapon against the discrimination of people with disabilities is information. Promoting a better understanding of the differences in us all could help to reduce prejudice and promote inclusivity across schools, activity groups and communities in general. It is also essential to provide advice and funding to those in need of legal, financial or medical assistance. These programs help to stop people from becoming overwhelmed or isolated.
Charities all over the world are doing this through offering training to businesses and local communities, along with national campaigns on television and in print media. This outreach helps society to become more inclusive with equal opportunity for everyone, regardless of medical diagnosis.
- ONS Opinions Survey 2011 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-facts-and-figures/disability-facts-and-figures#fnref:16
- Fair Treatment at Work Survey 2008 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-facts-and-figures/disability-facts-and-figures#fnref:16
- Home Office, ‘An Overview of Hate Crime in England and Wales,’ 2013 https://www.northyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/for-you/victims/hate-crime-report/stop-hate-crime-national-picture-risk/#_ftn3
- British Crime Survey 2010 to 2011 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-facts-and-figures/disability-facts-and-figures#fnref:16