We tend to be frightened or uncomfortable when we see someone with a disability; they look different from us, which unnerves and scares us. We need to understand that they are just the same as we are. They want to be included in our society, with us. People with disabilities have hopes and dreams just as we do. Just because their bodies don’t function the same way as ours, doesn’t change who they are and the gifts they have to offer society.
A person with disabilities wants to be included. They want to feel like they belong. They are part of a family, but want to belong to the neighbourhood, community, and school. These are all parts of our society we take for granted but it isn’t always shared with someone who has a disability. They need to be included too.
The children who are challenged and are included in society have better outcomes, socially and cognitively than those who don’t. Their inclusion also benefits regular students. It has been proven that regular students school work increases by 15% when having a special needs student in class. The students are more engaged with school work and are motivated to help their friend succeed. In helping the challenged student, the other students learn and understand the material more thoroughly. Everyone benefits.
Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems, apply to everyone; not only able-bodied people but to those with challenges also. The microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem and chronosystem all work in the same way for those who are able bodied and those who aren’t. We all want to have a healthy social identity, and school plays an important role for all children no matter what their challenges are. We all need friends, and want to be accepted.
I have a sister who is blind, although she is accepted within the family, she has a tough time with society. People shout at her, thinking shouting will help when talking to her; her ears work perfectly it’s just her eyes that don’t. Thankfully she has an outgoing personality, and takes others lack of understanding in her stride.
How do you break down the barriers of peoples’ prejudice?
How should people start a conversation with respect?