Disabled children end up facing a lot more issues in school due to a lack of awareness among staff and non-disabled peers. Bullying is a common complaint voiced by disabled children, sometimes even as young as seven years old. However, this situation can be easily rectified by making sure that schools have proper access and mobility equipment, teachers are trained in special needs education, educating non-disabled children in equality, tolerance and diversity. For more information on how to improve the life of a disabled child at school, check out this below infographic from UKSMobility.
The purpose of this blog and this post, in particular, is to help raise awareness of disabilities and invisible illness within the wider community.
So the idea is for us all to share our stories about our relationships with the various disabilities which have so much impact upon our lives.
So let’s start with me.
My background, as some of you may know, is healthcare market research. Which is one of the reasons I support so many students who wish to run surveys as part of their research.
But it was only six years ago that it became very real to me. Because it was them that my son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. You can read the story of the ASD here. You can read other people’s stories here as well.
As many of you know autism is a learning disability (among other things) which means my wife and I have our time cut out supporting him. Some becoming a caregiver was not something I planned and certainly don’t relish (all the time) but it is what I do.
From helping him get dressed through special needs swimming to working on his spellings and helping him type. Both for my wife and I. Would we have it any other way? Well given the circumstances I’d say no.
So what about you?
Please feel free to share how disability have impacted upon your life in the comments section below.
Thanks very much in advance.
PS The photo is of our son (well his silhouette anyway) at his sports day a couple of days ago.
Tomorrow sees the United Nations’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebrated this year on 3rd December 2014.
This year’s theme is “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology”
The UN website shares “Throughout human history, technology has always impacted the way people live. The Industrial Revolution ushered in a new age of technology that raised the standards of living of people around the world and their access to goods and services. Today, technology is built in to every facet of daily living. The emergence of information and communications technologies have dramatically increased connectivity between people and their access to information, and further raised living standards.
ICTs have indeed changed the way people live, work and play. However, not all people benefit from the advances of technology and the higher standards of living. This is mainly because not all people have access to new technologies and not all people can afford them.
Today, there are over 1 billion people living in the world with some form of disability. Around the world, persons with disabilities not only face physical barriers but also social, economic and attitudinal barriers. Furthermore, disability is associated with twenty per cent of global poverty, of which the majority live in developing countries. In spite of being the world’s largest minority group, persons with disabilities and the issue of disability has remained largely invisible in the mainstream development frameworks and its processes.”
As regular readers know this blog is very interested in healthcare and technology. You can see a recent example here.
So we would like to know what is the most important development in healthcare technology in the last few years? It would be great if you could share your answers in the comments section below?
Attitudelive have asked us to share some information about one of their latest videos. This time it looks at Noel Ratapu who is a teenager living with Muscular Atrophy who uses photography to express herself and accept life with a disability.
“It’s part of me but I don’t like being known as the girl in the wheelchair… I don’t mind being seen as different from the others – different is unique and if we were all the same that would just be boring.”
Noel Ratapu was born with a condition that means she is gradually losing muscle strength and mobility. By the age of 11 she needed to use a wheelchair… as her body weakened, her anxieties grew. Now 15, Noel has found her voice and identity in the lens of the camera as she accepts life with a disability and documents her journey through photography.
“A lot of my photos have sides of me. If I’m depressed I make it black and white with different lighting and layers in the background. If I’m happy then more colourful and brightness to my face.”