I was having my usual cuppa tea this morning, and came across a person on a wheelchair. I watched him struggle as he tried to move his wheelchair to the coffee house. My other half and I would have offered our help if it’s not because I saw his escort, a little girl who is probably his relative or daughter helped him to push the wheelchair and settle down. I was touched by the display of filial piety.
Seeing that old man maneuvering around in his wheelchair amused me to no end, and got me wondering on how he cope with his daily chores. As I took a sip of my tea, I tried to imagine myself being handicapped like him, but I couldn’t get a good vision on how I lead my life because the things that I imagined are not pleasant.
I could not imagine being handicapped in any ways, because in Malaysia, handicaps are automatically stigmatized that they are ‘useless’, not worth to hire as an employee because they are immobilized in many ways. They are automatically labeled as not efficient and dumb by many employer despite of their great achievement in the field of academic. They are not given easy chance to earn their living, and yet they are expected not to make a fuss out of it. People prefer to give chance to those who are air headed, sexy and yet could not figure out on how to operate a simple machine for 9-5 office job instead of hiring a handicap who is capable of clearing piles and loads of paperwork in office effectively.
The handicaps and disabled are generally expected to be financially independent by the society, but pray tell, how are they supposed to be financially independent when they are not given much chance to earn a living? Are they expected to belong to a wealthy family who can support them financially and emotionally? Or are they expected to go on the street, begging for money for a meal or two? I’m well aware that a lot of handicaps excelled in many fields, and yet, their achievements and skills could not be contributed because of the harsh perception on them.
Honestly, if I owned a company and needs an effective employee to help me with office work, I’ll chose a disabled individual if indeed proven that the person is capable of doing office work any day over a normal person who is a complete bloke and hopeless, even after intensive training is given. It’s a bonus too that the handicaps are usually very loyal to your company and appreciate their job very well due to the lack of chance given to them.
Even education are not made easy for people on wheelchair, as tertiary education classes are not situated on ground floors, and again, the lack of facilities for handicap students in educational institute. It’s not that they are not smart. In fact, some of them are even smarter and definitely more competitive than the normal people who tends to take things for granted. Again and again they are branded as useless just because the lack of facilities provided.
Malaysia does not facilitate handicaps and disabled well, that’s a fact that could not be change anytime soon, because Malaysian in general hardly give a thought about their difficulties. The government included. *snicker* Malaysian government are turning blind eyes towards the welfare of the disable, and obviously someone ought to tell those cabinet creeps to stop talking about ‘ME, ME, ME, IT’S ALL ABOUT ME‘ and start improving the lives of the handicap, disabled and the poor instead.
Let me ask you, how many shopping complexes are handicaps friendly? Racks that placed goods are usually designed for normal people, and placed at heights that is unreachable by people on the wheelchair. They have no choice but to ask for assistance when they shop for goods that they could not reach.
They are indeed incapable of running errands effectively the way normal people do, this I don’t deny. But to be fair, this is because the facilities provided in most shopping complexes are not handicap and disabled friendly. They need to depend on others to get their chores done. They are actually being immobilized by the lack of facilities, and yet people are labeling them useless. This is definitely injustice. It’s unfair to accuse them for being dependent on others because of the facilities that the normal people failed to provide them with.
Even answering nature’s call is a problem to them when they are outside. It’s a common knowledge that a lot of premise failed to provide a handicap stall. They are somehow forced to coup up at home simply because their home is more handicap friendly and more convenient for them, and yet, the society accused them for not socializing and being negative. Maybe they are negative in some ways if they lost their mobility due to sickness or accidents, but when they try to move on and be positive about their weakness, the environment and the society simply push them back down.
How many traffic lights includes alarm in order to assist the ones who are visually handicapped to cross the road? One may as them to use the pedestrian walkover instead, but how many are there out there? The blind, as you all probably know depends on the sense of noise and touch very much to get them around, but things are not made easier for them too.
Communication between the deaf and vocally disabled are not made easy too, because of the refusal of the normal to learn sign language. Our society simply are not interested in mingling with them, hence the refusal to learn their language. As parents, we prefer to let our children learn foreign and exotic language instead of learning simple sign language, why is this thing happening? Why are we outcasting the disable when they too are God’s creation? We force them to mingle around with their own kind instead of being closer to them and understanding their difficulties.
The society has made their lives harder by not providing proper facilities to them and made them live like an outcast by stigmatizing them. Don’t you guys think it’s time to put a stop to their misery? We may not have the power to change their lives overnight by turning our country into a handicap paradise by providing them the facilities, but we definitely start to make their lives easier by not stigmatizing and labeling them as useless creature. Start giving them a chance and mix around with them when they approach us, because in truth they are human, just like us.
Cleffairy: We’ll never know if one day misfortune are to befall us and takes away one of our senses. I know and convinced that I would not like to live like an outcast I were to be blind, deaf, mute or forced to move around on the wheelchair. Would you like to live like an outcast if such misfortune were to befall you?
PS: After writing this post, it reminds me to a certain asshole known as Ech3lon who had strongly voiced out his opinions against allocating more facilities for the disabled last month by saying “Why should we suffer and waste money building stuff for people who are ‘minority’ and useless to boot?”
Well, I do hope God damned you to live as a disable for a few days, and I’ll be looking forward to hear you complain your ass out. But then again, why would I be looking forward to your complains then, because you are strongly supporting censorship and against people who are voicing up their opinions and discomfort? If you are reading this and wanted to comment, would you like me to censor your words and unapproved your comment? I think you’ll enjoy being ‘shut up’. *snicker*