Time to remove discrimination from our nations!

Disablism; the discrimination that should not exist

To many, this may be the first time you came across this term and could have gotten you scratching your head in absolute confusion. Unfortunately, disablism does exist and just like racism, its practice has no place in an ideal humanitarian world.

The meaning of disablism is rather broad but in a nutshell it means discriminatory, oppressive or abusive behaviour arising from the belief that disabled people are inferior to others. How disablism came about could come from a long history of negligence. Its cause? Not from people with disabilities, but from people who are ignorant and live as if disability does not exist in this world.

Let us take our own nation for example. Singapore has always been cited and respected as a country for its vast transformation into a developed country in just a short span of 50 years. By right, this growth should have resonated on all other factors within Singapore as well. However, the truth is that we still have some ways to go in being a more inclusive society.

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(Team Singapore para-table tennis players playing together with Team NYP table-tennis team. A possible future for inclusiveness?)

In the past decade alone, we have taken steady steps in making our infrastructure more accessible to people with disabilities. For one, by identifying that Singapore has an ageing population and reacting positively to it with its infrastructure to create ease of movement for the elderly and people with disabilities.

With such positive steps taken, we need to continue with the momentum and build on improving inclusiveness on many levels. As a nation, we must be able to move forward and grow into a leading country not only in economy and education, but inclusiveness in our society as well.

The thought of disablism should be eradicated and the only way to begin that process is through a collective effort. An effort of a nation to educate and equip ourselves with the necessary knowledge to create a better world for everyone. We do not have to make drastic changes overnight to address this issue. Each individual can contribute in their own small way; from learning more about the different disabilities to learning new ways of communication (e.g sign language). Volunteering in your free time may seem like a small act but it in fact is a tiny step contributing to progress.

After all, to attain an inclusiveness is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Singapore took 50 years to build itself to the nation it is today, so let us take our time to build inclusivity wherever we are, even if it means taking another 50 years; so be it.

Photo by: stefanusian.com

Article by: A disisable volunteer

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