In Their Shoes

Are you aware of the life of disabled people? Do you have any idea how it is not to hear or see?

Because of a stupid infection I am currently experiencing limited hearing on both ears. Nothing to worry about since I know it’s going to pass very soon. It has, however, brought this very important topic to me.

Did you know that:

There are about “285 million people are visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision” the WHO estimates. 90% of which live in developing countries. According to the World Evangelization Research Center, India has – with about 9’000’000 – the highest number of blind or visually impaired people. Things could be changed very easily: “uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of visual impairment; cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness in middle- and low-income countries”. In other words: both causes can be easily avoided or cured. The WHO estimates that number to be 80% of the above 285 Million.

There are “over 300 million deaf people in the world” according to the Commissioned Believers Deaf Ministry. Most deaf people can be found in China and India with 75’000’000 and 60’000’000 respectively again according to the WHRC. Trying to understand and walk in these people’s shoes means understanding that some deaf people do not see themselves as being limited or handicapped. They have their own language, schools and communities. It is important to accept their culture instead of wanting to turn them into “hearing” people.

Around 1 out of 100 people are using a wheelchair to get around according to this wheelchair company.Many people think that, because people use wheelchairs, they would be helpless without human-made devices for mobility. But how many of us walk barefoot down the street? – most of us prefer to wear (human-made) shoes or trainers. And many of us use a human-made car, bus or train to travel from one town to another. In our own way, we are all dependent upon human-made items for our mobility!” This disability fact file is a short overview of how we could make the live of people in wheelchairs easier.

Disabled people are as ordinary as anyone. It is by calling them names and putting them in different boxes when they become stigmatized. It’s time we overcome this way of thinking and accept them as being humans – not more and not less. “This means recognising that people who have physical, sensory or intellectual impairments, or mental/emotional distress, are denied opportunities, are discriminated against and excluded by the barriers that society creates. It means focusing, not on our impairments – what is wrong with our bodies or our minds – but on what is wrong with the way society is organised. In other words, focusing on the prejudice that we experience, inaccessible physical and communication environments, the failure to put resources into enabling technology, and other socially created barriers.”So what is normal? – a nice overview of a different take of disability and my suggested further reading for you.

Picture by knowsphotos, thank you!

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2 thoughts on “In Their Shoes

  1. “walking in other people’s shoes” should always in our mind, then the world will have more tolerance, less conflicts and more love, less hatred.

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