Disability is not much of a barrier for people who have a disability. But more concerning are the people around them who are insensitive to the problems of disabled people due to their lack of understanding about their condition. The lack of knowledge on the part of regular persons about what it feels like to live with a disability makes them treat all kinds of disabilities in the same way. They consider it as a single category of people who will never live full lives. It happens even though about 20% of Americans live with some form of disability. Raising disability awareness is the only way to make people more sensitive about the needs of disabled people. People need to understand the type of disability they have and how it impacts their life.
Recognize the uniqueness of individuals
The first thing to understand is that just as every individual is unique in some ways, so also are the disabilities that afflict them. Therefore, the needs of assistance for such people would also be different for each person. It will be a mistake to generalize all disabled people and treat them in the same way. It would result in inappropriate and undesirable behaviour towards the disabled population that further puts them under a lot of stress and humiliation. We should remember that every person, regardless of their physical and mental infirmities, has equal rights to enjoy lives like any other average person.
Realize what it means to live with a disability
People may suffer from a variety of disabilities that affect their hearing and or vision. Some may suffer from cognitive problems and mental deficiencies, while some others may have some other disabilities. If statistics are to be believed, about 25% of people aged 20 will face some form of disability during their working years. When average people interact with people with disabilities, they should be empathetic towards them by understanding their plight. They must be responsible for communicating with disabled people more compassionately to help them in the best way. It will make the disabled person feel like being no less than others in living their lives on their own terms.
Step into the shoes of the disabled
To realize the hardships that disabled persons go through, think about how much inconvenience you would be if you find one day that you are unable to one hand when you are getting ready for work. Despite being the same person that you used to be, the world suddenly appears to have turned on its head as you are unable to perform the simplest task like buttoning your shirt. Imagining yourself in such a position will help to understand the challenges faced by disabled people daily. This should be an eye-opener because you will realize that there is more to do for disabled persons than just following the laws and regulations related to them.
Treating disabled persons at par with an average person by recognizing that they, too, are humans is the first step towards respecting them. They are not just someone whose survival depends on others mercy.