Right to education
I am currently studying in college and so far, I came across three more students with disabilities – two when I was at school, and one at college.
I asked myself, “Why are they so less in number? What happens to the rest of them? Why disability is a term so unfamiliar in schools and colleges?”
I am eternally grateful to my parents, and to the teachers of my school and college who are supportive enough to encourage me. I consider myself lucky. But it should not be a matter of luck. It should not be considered as a privilege. It is my right and if it is violated, I can claim my right.
I know a girl with a speech disability from a low-income family who is really smart. She needs to go to school to flourish her spark. But no one will send her to school. It is a violation of right.
The infrastructures of schools and colleges are not disability-friendly. The schools and colleges are not built keeping us in mind. Because people like us either never go to school, or go to special schools, or drop out.
Right to be included
If someone thinks like a person with disabilities should be confined to their place and excluded, that is a violation of right. You cannot leave your disabled offspring behind while going to a family outing. You cannot exclude the disabled student while arranging a ceremony. You cannot exclude your disabled friend while in a group. We have the right to be included.
Right to not to be discriminated
I am thankful to people around me, my family, my friends and my acquaintances – I never experienced actual discrimination. So when I learned it for the first time, it hurt pretty much. And it was one of the teachers of my college who did it. She probably didn’t understand the depth of what she did and later, she behaved well with me, but what she did to me that day left a scar in my heart. And I know that this is just the beginning. In life, I will come across many more people like her. But that is not how things should be.
Right to special care
People with disabilities are needed to be treated with care. We have the right to claim special treatment when needed. People need to be careful about treating us; people need to be careful while choosing words about us. This includes family members, too. We need to be prioritized and treated specially when needed – like the way children, women and seniors are prioritized.
Right to be respected
The most crucial and also neglected right. We don't want pity or sympathy.
We need you to be kind. And you know what that includes? Not asking too much questions, it makes the person uncomfortable. Not labelling or marking us as the disabled one. Not staring at us as if we are aliens or something like that. Respect us.
Just reach out your hand when we need help, it’s better to help only when the person asks for it, because reaching out when unasked can make them uncomfortable, even hurt. If they refuse to your help, then don't ask twice. Treat them specially when needed. You need to keep in mind that we are different, but you also need to forget that.
We are just like you, we are just different. And it is our right to live a normal life without discrimination or exclusion.