Trying to see the world from another perspective is a great source for learning. Let’s do that with some thought experiments.
Imagine yourself in a wheelchair. Can you see it? Now, just think that you cannot move at all. Try not to move for a few seconds to get into the feeling. And now only your arms can move, so you can operate the wheelchair. One day you decide to go to the cafe to drink a cup of coffee. Do you think that would be a problem for you?
So let’s continue our thought experiment. How do you get from your apartment to the street? Where can you cross the street? Is there a traffic light? How long will be the green light on and how long will it take you to cross the street?
So here you are outside on the sidewalk. And there is the cafe which serves the hot coffee you crave. But when you want to come in, you realize that you can’t, because there are stairs. So what would you do next?
How does it feel to be there and not be able to come in? I bet not good.
Using public transportation – stress on more than one level
Now imagine being blind and/or being deaf. What events would you like to attend? Would you like to travel?
What makes your life a full life? Would you still be able to do all that if you are disabled?
Another example: When a blind or deaf person comes to the subway, there is no acoustic signal or Guidance system for blind people. When they want to attend events, the majority of organizers even don’t take into consideration that a disabled person also may join the event. So nothing is prepared for them.
There is the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with disabilities, the European Accessibility Act. However, our world at many places still is not equipped for disabled people. Realizing this hurts.
That’s what you can do
Probably you asked yourself, well, what can I do about it? First of all, you can advocate social inclusion, then get involved to help disabled people and be an ally.
I was inspired to write about this after I attended the workshop “Let’s talk about inclusion in education and workplace”. The speakers were Anna Gersdorff and Nina Reichert. Anna is living with a disability and she was sharing her experience with us and what difficulties people with disabilities face. Nina is her ally and she helped her during the conference.
I would like to finish it with the call, people, don’t be indifferent and help everybody to feel equal!
Written by: Ruslana Matiukhina
CC-BY SA licencse: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/