What would a world look like if it was created by someone who is blind?
We all have heard the word ‘Disability’ – something that is often perceived as being very heavy, serious, and overwhelming. Disability Awareness is a widespread tool that, we at Trinayani use to create awareness and educate people on disability and the importance of learning about the sector.
If I were you, I would wonder, “Why do I need to know about disability when I’m not even affected by it or I don’t know anyone with a disability?”. Well, what if I told you that if you aren’t aware of disability, your actions reflect the lack of that knowledge and those actions may be creating an impediment for a person with a disability, the largest minority community in the world.
A lot of people are aware of the word ‘disability’, ‘who people with disability are’ and ‘what are their rights’ but there is a gap from the “knowing” to “doing” transition. This is where our knowledge and understanding of Ableism comes into the picture – a term that enunciates how environments, attitudes and behaviours are conducted from the perspective of ‘able-bodied’ individuals.
Let’s revisit the question at the start – “How would a world look like if it was created by someone blind?” The world may have monotone colours, things that may be abstract and tactile and as you imagine it, you may come up with more things. The point is, that the world will be constructed in such a way that it may create impediments for someone who can see.
Often, we act toward things keeping ourselves and our bodies in mind; forming a bias that moulds our actions to cater to those who are “normal” – not someone who cannot see, hear, has consistent chronic pain, has anxiety and many more.
Our fears may take place in the form of, “Oh, what if I say something wrong?”, “What if I do something that disrespects the person?” How about the fact that often while communicating with anyone, in any situation we might at some point say something that might not sit well with the other? In such situations, what do we do? We apologize, own our mistakes and in turn keep in mind that this is something that we won’t repeat.
“Action speaks louder than words”, a very infamous phrase that holds immense significance here. Our actions should be based on the lens that people with disabilities are just like you and me. To act on the knowledge that we have received, we need to address the ableism that we hold and understand that people with disabilities need to be treated and included the same way as anyone else.
Until and unless we do not diminish the demarcations that have been created due to ableism, inclusion is difficult to take place and be sustainable. Mistakes are part and parcels of humans; we all share the space of the world together and understand each other’s experiences. All we must do is listen, comprehend, and act with kindness and the world can be an inclusive space.
To facilitate this “listening”, at Trinayani we design and conduct sensitization, awareness and capacity-building workshops for diverse stakeholders. Please connect with us to know more.