This article exposes the effects of social exclusion and discrimination against disabled. It also descibes the International organisation that addresses their plight. It further challenges us to change our attitude and perspectives towards disabled.
Maryland Developmental Disabilities Coalition (Photo credit: MDGovpics)
Effects of Social Exclusion and Discrimination Against Disabled
People with disability experience social exclusion and inequality as compared to the general public. They are excluded in the education institutions and social functions. People with disability are not able to attain high levels of education, especially those with mental retardation. They are not able to access same social and entertainment facilities as the other people. Disabled people are mostly out of work and living in poverty. They thus revert to begging on the street to the members of the public, who are willing to give them just a little to maintain their low life styles that they lead. People who get disabled in their middle age and are married experience abandonment by their other non-disabled spouse.
Due to the low level of education and no skills training people with disability are not able to compete. They get poor paying jobs and they are not able to participate fully in the national building. Due to stereotypes and negative attitude the employers view them as unproductive and not able to work well. The employers have negative perception on interpersonal skills; productivity and psychological adjustment on disabled .The employers view the disabled to having high chances of getting accidents while working. The disabled who aspire and have ambitions to start businesses are discriminated in accessing business development services and credit facilities. The financial institutions doubt their ability to pay back credit services given to them. Due to the social exclusion these people fail to follows all life process, they may not get married or lead family lives. Those who get disabled while working risk losing their jobs. Research has shown that within a year of becoming disabled, 35 per cent of single adults who were in employment have left employment, as have 22 per cent of individuals in marriage. These are much higher rates of exit than are observed for non disabled counterparts. In couples, one partner becoming disabled can have an impact on the other partner’s employment too. When both couples are working when one couple becomes disabled the chances of the both of them stopping to work is high. The disabled will leave job because of employer attitude, the non-disabled partner leaves job to tend to the partner depending on the extent of disability. When one couple was working and the working partner becomes disabled the chances of the non working partner to get job are low. Due to cultural factors associated with religion observance and posture of worship and praying to God the disabled fell discriminated. They may not measure up to those standards. Since social classes depend on accumulation of wealth the disabled may not attain those high classes. This makes them to interact only with other disabled or the poor non-disabled. Cultural factors have in certain people dictated and separated gender roles. Disabled may not be able to take up those roles. This makes them feel that they have failed and are not acceptable in the community. A good example is in communities where the male is the sole provider to the family when he becomes disabled he may not play the role. Social factors accord special respect and esteem to those that have brought up families. The disabled may not bring up families and they end up remaining singles .Physical attributes accepted by the community may be absent in some disabled individuals. Albino individuals fail to have pigments that bring about dark skin pigmentation. Stereotypes and negative attitude have lead to their discrimination to the extent of being sold out. This is due to heresy that their organs are able to make traditional medicine. Due to their low economic status the disabled are viewed as burden and may not be accorded any leadership roles. Some communities associate wealthiness with leadership. Where the attainment of high level of education is associated with success the disabled who do not attain those levels are viewed as failures. Research has shown that the disabled have increased barrier to health care, as a result of problems with transport, insurance and communication.