Who is a differently abled person?
Someone with a different physical or mental condition, which limits their movements, senses, or activities.
We are often confused about the way we behave around differently abled people. It is not something we are taught right from school. For most Indians it is hard to comprehend what a differently abled person would want when around perfectly abled persons. As a country, we also have very limited provisions that can make places more accessible for differently abled people. For some, it is a shame to have a differently abled person in the family. Others, they sympathize with such people.
What the differently abled need is not sympathy but empathy. They need people around them to be sensitive towards them but also be sensible. The most important thing is to treat them just like you would treat any human being – with all due respect.
Do not sympathize and do not stare.
It is the last thing differently abled people need and it will only decrease their confidence. If at all you want to help or offer assistance, be polite, introduce yourself to that particular person and ask if they need any help. Proceed only if they agree. There are times you will be curious as to what is the challenge that they face physically/ mentally. Specially abled people are used to such curious conversations. They wouldn’t mind if somebody wants to know about their special abilities. What you shouldn’t be doing as a curious person is make them feel any less because of their abilities or feel sad about them.
Watch this video below which aptly talks about ‘how to behave around differently abled persons’
It is time we overcome the social issue our society faces – Type of behavior towards differently abled people.
Well known personalities with disabilities – Stephen Hawking who recently passed away was a well known physicist, Vincent Van Gough a renowned artist who left the world with some timeless crafts suffered from depression, Girish Sharma a terrific Badminton player who lost one leg but has earned numerous medals, Andrea Boccelli a famous musician who is completely blind. There are many differently abled yet successful personalities to name.
The only thing it means is that they are not any different. 🙂