According to a report by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, an estimated 1 billion people live with a disability. Disabled people find it hard to socialize with the other members of society; this, in turn, results in depression. To make matters worse, even very well-meaning people aren’t completely educated on what having a disability entails and may have some misconceptions regarding those with disabilities. This may in turn lead to stigma.

What is Disability?

Disability is defined as a condition judged to be very impaired relative to the normal standard of a person or a group. According to Cornell Law School, a person with a disability has a physical or mental impairment that greatly restricts one or more major life activities. Disability can be classified into eight subcategories.

  • Spinal cord disability
  • Mobility and physical impairment
  • Vision disability
  • Hearing disability
  • Psychological disability
  • Cognitive and learning disabilities
  • Head injury or brain disability

Stigma can play out in numerous ways including

  • Discrimination
  • Blaming
  • Hate crimes and violence
  • Internalization
  • Condescension
  • Stereotyping
  • Social avoidance

In many cultures, disabilities have been linked to curses, dependence, helplessness, and diseases.

How to Fight the Stigma Surrounding Disability

Education

One way to reduce the stigma surrounding people with disabilities is to educate you. Know the facts that surround disabilities. We need awareness everywhere, at home and in the community. Every person living with a disability has a right to education. It doesn’t matter what they want to do with their life; we all need education. People with disabilities need education to enjoy their rights to employment and social participation. Additionally, you can educate others on facts and pass on positive attitudes and challenge myths and stereotypes that surround disability.

Respect their privacy

Just like anyone else you know, disabled people are free people. They have thoughts, feelings, plans, and ideas which should be respected by other people. Our daily statement and actions show how we treat and respect the disabled. Many people often violate the right to privacy of people living with disabilities without knowing they are doing so. Employers should make sure that their office buildings are accessible to people using mobility aids--for instance, wheelchairs and walkers. Additionally, you should never handle a person’s mobility device without their consent.

Bottom Line

Stigma is a major cause of shame for people living with disabilities. Worst of all, this is something beyond their control. For people already carrying a heavy burden, stigma is unacceptable. Fortunately, some supplies can help manage various types of disabilities. To get quality products that can help you, visit Medical Supply Depot today.

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