SOCIAL INCLUSION OF PERSONS WITH DISABLITIES
Writer’s name: Zuha Tiwana
Email: [email protected] #: 03400883316, 03345426865
Submitted to: International Committee of the Red Cross.
Night time, lying in the bed, sitting on the rocking chair or walking silently on a walkway, when one takes a moment to reflect on the whole day passed. Thinking about all the tasks one has completed on that particular day, one often realizes the fact of how blessed and gifted one is. Little acts and tasks one accomplishes in the whole day, being the able-bodied and able-minded people often fail to realize how capable, competent, effective and skilful they are.
Now, let’s imagine the same day and think ourselves as living with some disability. Perhaps not having a limb, or might having a reading or writing defect. How would it be to manage all the little acts of everyday? Easy or difficult? What we just reflected surely induces an insight of how the people with some disability face different traumas on daily basis.
Disability is not a mere term to elucidate and discuss, it’s a life pattern hundreds and thousands human beings govern on. The World Health Organization has depicted disability as an umbrella locution that incorporates different dimensions varying from physical to mental and social to emotional deficits of life (WHO, 2016). The contested concept of disability generates an insight towards the intellectual, cognitive, developmental, social and mental milestones one achieves thought-out the life cycle.
The ideology of disability dates back to the middle ages when all types of deficits were thought to be a result of demons or some spiritual misdeed. Lack of awareness and staunch beliefs in superstitions led them to treat the disabled through trephination and extortion. Despite being already in trauma, the disabled individuals were treated inhumanely and brutally. With the passage of time, the spiritual conceptions were replaced and revamped by the medical and clinical interventions brought in during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
In 1980, the concept of disability was differentiated from impairment and handicap in a framework proposed by the WHO. It was elucidated that the disability of any kind is a certain curb or constraint in the normal functioning of individuals across the developmental milestones of human beings. The distinction laid the foundations for the activists of disability to pace up their views and ideas about the term. The contemporary notion of disability is rooted within the medical and social models of disabilities that are the products of twentieth century. Besides, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is observed every year on December 3 to spread awareness among the people.
Medical model of disability. The late twentieth century gave rise to the medical view of disability that fixed it to be entirely caused by the complexity of human beings. It was rooted in the biomedical concepts of disability. It was thought that any bodily trauma, a bruise, a lost body part, some disease or other medical conditions contributed to the disability that required proper and professional supervision under medical institutions. It was the individual’s body that decided them to be labeled as “able” or “disabled” within their society.
Social model of disability. Twisting the medical model, and as a reaction to it the social model of disability depicted the abstraction of disability as being an output of complex social situations rather than being a unique attribute of individuals. According to Aristotle, “Man is a social animal”, following this notion, human beings are directly influenced by their social environment. They are the products of their society. Human beings are born innocent with some genetic instincts and traits. It is the society that enables the individuals to either polish their skills or detract them. According to the need of the work, social aspect will be explained further.
In the contemporary world, there are many hurdles and restraints in the lives of disabled persons. The disabled people face the harsh and bitter face of the world. The so-called society and the social beings not only deprive them from the basic facilities and needs but also stigmatize them that lowers their self confidence, self belief, self efficacy and self concept. Also it threatens the health of the society. The people with disabilities are the most marginalized group of the society. In comparison to the normal people, they stand lower on education achievements, hold poorer health circumstances and lag far behind in economic involvement of the states.
According to the WHO and World Bank (2018), the total population of the world is approximately 7.6 billion out of which 15% people experience different sorts of disabilities. It is therefore, the high time that inclusion of the disabled people matters the most than ever. The disabled persons must be given different platforms and opportunities to play their part in the national development. They must be encouraged and motivated to influence the society through their abilities and skills that each one of them possesses. There should be made international policies for the inclusion of the people with different disabilities.
Inclusion. Picturing through the lenses of human rights, inclusion is often described as a free accommodation of all the groups of a society and incorporating the people with mental, physical, social, developmental and medical disabilities in the world of the normal people on the status of equality of rights and basic needs. Inclusion exclusively promotes the subject of disability and provides the ways and policies through which the disabled people may get the maximum societal benefits. For instance, the organizations like IDEA and NCLB have been especially designed for the children to mainstream them into their communities at ease.
Social inclusion. The notion of social inclusion has been depicted as a process, a way and a map that opens up the gates for individuals and groups of people to take active role in the society, that may comprise of the betterment and improvement of the lives of those people who have been marginalized on the basis of their identities (The World Bank, 2018).
The roots of the process of social inclusion dates back to 1970’s when it was first evolved in France entangling the point of society being stable in economic and work participation. Meanwhile, due to the overemphasizing value of social roles, their creation, support and defense gave rise to the normalization theory as an addition in the disability social policy. The year 1981 gave a strong push to the momentum and goodwill for the persons with disabilities by eliciting the hope for them to enjoy equal place within the society of normal people. 1981 was observed as the International Year of Disabilities.
The aforementioned international movements comprise of the rules and regulations for social inclusion that were also made the integral part of the international conventions such as the CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and OP (Optional Protocol) that include a complete and efficient involvement and inclusion of the persons with disabilities within the society. The concept that social inclusion covers a wider area than the economic stability and participation in tasks is also documented among the documents of government. One such instance is the governing board of Australia.
Usually the five aspects and dimensions of the concept of social inclusion derived from the above elucidations are accounted as: 1) The economic participation of the persons with disabilities, 2) the service provision along with health access, 3) The autonomy for self and self persistence, 4) All sorts and dimensions of education and 5) In order to fulfill the roles assigned by the society, better and improved interactions within (Taylor, 2012).
Social inclusion of the persons with disabilities is a key and basic need of the time across the globe. The type of identity issues that are faced by the persons with disabilities as a result of the stigmatization and stereotypic attitudes of the society completely distort their self confidence. The physical lacking also creates a sense of deprivation in many. The societal interactions and reactions based on the superstitions, stigmas, hatred, prejudice and stereotypes can rob the integrity, honor, self respect, strength and surviving powers of the people with disabilities to lead a happy and peaceful life.
Social inclusion can, therefore, unlock the new ways for the disabled persons within the society. The tools and measures should be designed in order to achieve the inclusion. There should be general awareness about the disadvantages of the exclusion of minority groups in the societal contexts. There must be more emphasis on the strategies and principles governing the inclusion process and also a few gauging mechanisms should be introduced to have the interventions and plan checked time to time.
Social inclusion precedes the social development that considers the “people first” policy. Through the empowerment of the people, taking resiliency measures and laying foundations for the accountability of citizens, the society can be made flexible and gathering for all groups of people thus improving the quality of life of the humans.
Across the globe, many countries have taken different measures for their disabled persons so that they can play their roles in the nation building and maintaining processes. There is a general view globally, “the disability doesn’t mean an inability”. Following this conception many social NGO’s, non paid organizations and conventions have been designed to help the most deprived, neglected and marginalized community of the world.
Almost all the countries have taken steps to provide social protection and safeguard to the persons with disabilities. The activists and researchers leave no aspect uncovered in this purpose that also contributes to the awareness of the situations. Kyung Mee Kim and his colleagues (2017) conducted a study in South Korea to understand the importance of social inclusion among the persons with disabilities. The findings of the research laid a foundation for disability policies and other social services in the region. Similarly, as per the records (2010) of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), more than 20 percent of the persons with disabilities were deprived of all the public and employment benefits. Recently, many member countries of OECD have raised the voice against this social mistreatment and inscribed the social protection and social inclusion rights for the persons with disabilities in their respective regions.
Many developing countries like Uzbekistan, Korea and Brazil have also made enormous strides to get an improvement in the lives of the disabled people but the policies have turned out to be inadequate. The per capita income of these poor countries leave them far behind in the race of social stability. The disability policies advised and accepted help the persons with disabilities on one hand, yet at the other end, they fail to meet the needs and requirements of the disability related expenses such as treatment, equipment, special resources, schools, organizations etc. in other words, many countries face severe dilemmas in social inclusion and empowerment of the persona with disabilities.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan woefully lags far behind in the social and economic stability of the disabled people. Out of the total population, 0.48% people suffer from some sort of disability in Pakistan according to the Census Report of 2017. There are almost 27 million people with disabilities in Pakistan. A lack of economic empowerment and inclusion increases the expenses of the state on yearly basis from up to 4.9 percent to 6.3 percent GDP.
The smaller and larger frames of dreams in the eyes of such people get robbed on daily basis due to lack of basic facilities, funds, opportunities, resources and rehabilitation services.
The overlooked community of Pakistan not only suffers the health barriers but also fails to polish its inborn talents and excessive abilities gifted by the Divine Power. It is a known and proved fact that the people suffering from some kind of physical deformity or disability often exhibit extraordinary skills and talents in one or more domains. It is probably the compensation from Allah for their physical deprivation so that they can participate in the society, earn their livelihood and never feel frivolous in life. The world has seen many examples of such heroes that despite of their disabilities engraved their names and identity in the sand of the universe permanently.
The social empowerment and inclusion of the persons with disabilities in Pakistan needs a proper state consideration so that the marginalized community should not be left behind in national and foreign records. The soil of Pakistan is fertile with skills and talents. Many organizations have tasted birth with a lot of successes and encouragement by the nation on all fronts. Pakistan has internationally signed many human rights conventions and policies that encounter the matter of the persons with disabilities. The disability of policy has also been framed and reframed several times. Still Pakistan is wrangling in the production of better healthcare facilities, rehabilitation services and economic empowerment for the people with disabilities.
Disability has increased the risk of many issues in Pakistan. Social exclusion leads to poverty, unemployment, discrimination, illiteracy, ill health, financial hardships, substance abuse, interpersonal problems, poor housing and crimes. All these social abuses detract the development of the state to a larger extent. These issues need to be checked across national levels so that the physically disabled people may enjoy the basic facilities and services of life.
Social inclusion being a multifaceted concept covers so many domains of life. In Pakistan, by implementing some strategies and taking some vital actions, the cancer of the deprivation can be removed with roots. There are many ways and methodologies suggested worldwide in order to help the people with disabilities in their lives. According to the cultural and social needs of Pakistan, some of the ingenious and beneficiary strategies would be discussed here.
The social protection of the persons with disabilities comes first. The most significant thing they need from the society is their freedom to live, their autonomy to be who they are and how they have been created. They should be given equal rights as any of the normal person. Calling them with different names, that is woefully a very inhumane practice in Pakistan should be banned. The stereotypic comment and stigmatizing phrases must be sued to punishments and sentences. Hence, in every aspect, the basic “right to live” should be protected by the society.
There should be a standardized and firm system of education for the people with disabilities. This must include inclusive education at each step. The pupils with disabilities must be provided with lifelong learning facilities by the society in order to broaden their minds and encouraging them to use their talents in skills in nation building. Since childhood, the disabled kids should be treated respectfully in schools so that they never lose their self confidence and may exercise their skills on higher levels. Accessibility strategies must be designed especially for the disabled children by increasing their school participation and improving physical and social environments within schools. Making special arrangements for delivering the important lectures and notes to the disabled children by the means they may understand can serve a lot.
There should be planned recreational trips and tours for the disabled people with special transport facility to and from homes. Also the transport facility should benefit them in public use. Sports and other social events should be arranged for them. For instance, the blind cricket team of Pakistan exercises great deal of skills and talents internationally that boosts up their confidence. Such games or activities should be arranged on smaller and higher levels for the people with disabilities to ensure that disability doesn’t undermine the abilities one has been gifted with.
In this modern era of technology, special software and applications should be designed for them s that they can stay updated with the new trends and ever changing customs of the world. Information technology should be at their doorstep for their guidance and motivation. For instance, if a person is deaf, some visual application can be helpful for him. Similarly, if a person is an amputee, they can be benefitted with audio and visual applications that provide better understanding of the operations.
On literally and social level, public awareness programs should be conducted. Different workshops and seminars would enlighten the citizens of Pakistan with the need to respect this human diversity. The organizations and volunteers should visit public organizations, institutes and gatherings with the vision of spreading the abstraction of social inclusion for the disabled. The power of actions can lay a foundation towards shaking the sleeping souls of Pakistanis towards the gifted individuals.
Another very important way of empowering the persons with disabilities in the society is by maintaining the health facilities and services