Have you ever thought about what it takes to live a life with a disability? Disabled people prefer to be dead than to be disabled. It is because healthy people are seen neglecting the needs of the disabled people and treating them with the worst they can. Let’s try something realistic. Close your eyes and think, if this darkness remains for your lifetime, what will you do? Felt the goosebumps? This darkness is the only thing blind people can see. Another easy thing to understand their condition is to stop working with one of your hands for the next half an hour. You will understand how blessed you are to have a fully functional body without any disability.
If we look into the statistics, 6% of the world population has a hearing problem, 1% population has a problem in their legs, and 2.6% population has a mental disability. It makes a total of more than 2 billion people with different disabilities. World Health Organization claims that the majority of disabilities are not genetic; they are due to real-life accidents or some traumatic issues that lead people to severe physical or mental disabilities. Road accidents are one of the prime causes of leg injuries that convert into lifelong disabilities, whereas losing your loved one has been rated as the root cause of mental illness.
Around the globe, several organizations are working on disability support programs to entertain people with disabilities and help them with their necessities. Such organizations struggle to share that disabled people have some needs and want. The following are some of the basic ethics that are needed to encourage disabled people to live a happy life.
- Never Try To Stare: Staring someone is not a good habit, and when it comes to disabled people, it is highly unethical to stare them. Sometimes, we start staring at disabled people unconsciously. This unconscious stare may hurt the sentiments, and they may go into depression. We need to understand that they have a life equal to other people, so it is better to look at them instead of staring at them, which may make them uncomfortable. Your intentions may not be wrong, but they perceive it in the wrong way.
- Privacy Matters: You may not be the one, but people around are highly curious to know the whole story about the disability. Here we would like to share that disabled people are not bound to explain the reason for their disability. Somehow, asking them about their disability shatters their confidence. This small act of irresponsibility may have severe consequences on their life. All you need to do is to respect their emotions by not asking them what went wrong in their life.
- Ask Before Helping: Helping people is never a bad thing, but when we are around a disabled person, the situation might be different than usual. People with disabilities are highly sensitive when it comes to dependency. Different people have different levels of dependency. No one has the right to consider them weak or dependent. Before you try to be a gentleman, you must have to ask them if they need your help or not. When you ask them before helping, they might accept your help, but without consent, your help may hurt their emotional state.
After the discussion of basic ethics, we would like to share some tips that may help you to be gentle with people having physical disabilities:
- Better to Ask than to Assume: Life of a visually impaired person is slightly different than a blind person. Both of them have different skills developed over a long period. If you sense that they need help, your foremost duty is to ask them if they need your assistance. If they allow you to help them, you must ask them how they would like you to help. This will eventually build trust without damaging their self-respect as such people are highly sensitive. On the other hand, it is better to leave them alone if they refuse to take their help.
- Do Not Over Rule: Many times, and healthy people hurt the disabled person with their dominant nature. If you have someone who is visually impaired or blind, all you need to do is guide them with a humble attitude that can give them confidence. If they are walking with you, you can inform them about the stairs or slope so they can be mentally prepared instead of grabbing their arm without consent.
- Ramps And Accessible Walk Ways: It is pretty normal for healthy people to park their cars and go inside the building, but it is next to impossible for a person in a wheelchair to do the same if the ramp is blocked by a car or a bike. They do not have access to the building or a store if the ramp is not clear. It may be a small thing for healthy people, but it is frustrating for people in a standard wheelchair.
- Personal Space: People with social disabilities are greatly sensitive to touch, and they maintain a safe distance from everyone. If you want to help them, the only tip is to let them be how they are happy. If they do not want to hug, it is better not to hug them. Respecting their personal space can be helpful for them.
- Encourage To Participate: The overall mindset of disability needs a change. If we want to help them, we need to encourage them to participate in the activities where they can enjoy and celebrate their differences. As a part of our society, disabled people need recognition and respect from others, and it is only possible if we establish the concept of inclusion. If the existing situation does not allow inclusion, then arrange something that can engage them in different activities, so they can have fun.
If a healthy person is allowed to make their own rules of living, then why not a person with a disability. If you have anyone around you with a disability, it is not a problem only if you consider them differently able instead of disabled. Before being cautious about their movement, understand that they may need something different, or something of their choice. The confidence which you give to such people will do wonders for you too because when one aims to help such differently able people with an open heart and good intention, it brings harmony and peace from within.