Disability Is The Inability To See Ability

It was just a regular day and I was on my usual morning walk in the neighbourhood park. Familiar sounds greeted me like every other day.  As the morning breeze swiftly blew, I saw groups of little children playing, chasing around, their laughter and playful screams filling the air with excitement. As I walked around, my eyes turned to an unusual sight; a little boy sitting in a corner of the play area. He looked about 8 years old and I could see him silently watching the kids play and in his eyes, I could see him yearning to join them.  

I couldn’t help but wonder what was stopping him. I got curious and decided to know more. I asked him why he wasn’t playing with the other kids. He seemed hesitant at first and kept mum, but I persevered and gained his trust. Dejected, he told me the other kids refused to involve him in their play because he wasn’t quick like them, he couldn’t run or play like them and that he was too slow to understand the rules of the game because he was slow and dull.  As shocked as I was, I asked him “ who told you that?” Sadly, he replied “ all of them”.

I felt terrible for this innocent little boy and I wanted to help him. I asked him to come with him, assuring him, I could help him make friends. He shook his head in utter dismay, telling me the other kids wouldn’t bother because their parents had told them not to.

His words left me speechless. How could this be? Would parents encourage their child to indulge in such exclusion and why?

In the days that followed, I found out that this boy had a few challenges and had been labelled as disabled, slow, moron and so on by our society.

In this educated world where we talk about equal rights, freedom and so much, how much do we really abide by it? The answer to this is still a big “No”. Everyone across the globe is passionate to achieve success and works hard for it. Although, sometimes we are not able to achieve everything for which we worked. So, does it mean that we are incapable or disabled? Of course not, then why do we categorize few people in our society as slow, disabled, incompetent and so on? Just because they don’t meet society’s standards of what’s typical, does it justify society’s complete exclusion and ignorance?

On this World Disability Day which is celebrated every year on 3rd December across the globe, let us pledge together that every person with special needs receives the love, acceptance and inclusion that they have the right to. As they say “Know me for my abilities, not my disability”. Disability doesn’t define a person and they are much more than their disability. The real disability in life is a bad attitude.

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