The plight of people living with disabilities

The plight of people living with disabilities

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Providing adequate care and attention to people with disabilities in the society has been area of concern for government organizations. Various programs have been designed to assist inclusion of disabled people in the society and to create an enabling environment for them through elimination of societal barriers (Bryan, 2010). This study aims at highlighting some aspects relating to people with disabilities and will focus on the case ‘The Specials’ in UK.

Policies for People with Disabilities

            According to United Nations (2006), physically challenged people should be treated as equal to other people. In The Specials documentary focus on the life accounts of five housemates who are physically challenged and have got learning disabilities. The documentary tries to show that despite their challenges, these housemates lead a normal life and pass through all normal life experiences of normal people. According to Roulstone & Prideaux (2012), the convention rights for disabled people holds that people with disabilities have got similar rights to other normal people of the human race. They are entitled to peace, justice and freedom in the world. The policy maintains that people with disabilities should be alienated under any circumstance and should be given equal opportunity as normal human beings. The policy stipulates that they should be allowed to enjoy various human freedom and rights. In the case of Australia for example, a community based approach is used to handle disability issues. Community based initiatives are used to advocate for the rights of the disabled people (Commonwealth of Australia, 2011).

From the documentary episode The Specials, it is observed that disabled people are just like the rest of the human race irrespective of their physical challenges. The five housemates showcased in the documentary are observed to have up and downs in their lives just like the rest of us. They even experience first love and heart break like normal people do. This affirms the policy principles of equal rights and justice to people with disabilities. United Nations (2006) indicate that disabilities for the impaired arise where they are segregated and are denied interaction with other people in the society. People are urged to collaborate with people having various impairments. In The Specials (2014) for example, it is observed that the housemates receive care and support from well wishers, family and friends. In Australia, a support framework has been established and facilitates the community to support the physically impaired (Commonwealth of Australia, 2011).

Changes in Disability Services

            People are constantly acknowledging and accepting people with disabilities in the society. In the past few decades, people with various impairments suffered from oppression and segregation (Crimmins et al, 2009). Information about people with disabilities was scanty and people were coupled with negative perceptions about people with impairments. The situation has since changed with formation of organizations that advocate for rights of the disabled (Kilbane & McLean, 2008).  For example in The Specials documentary clip, it is observed that the impaired housemates receive care, love and support from people. Dempsey & Nankervis (2006) indicate that people also tend to understand their feelings and accept them like other normal human beings. This shows that people have come to appreciate physically and mentally challenged people. It is also observed that people have learnt to be patient with the impaired people. In the documentary clip for example, the care givers patiently teach the housemates how to cook since they know it’s challenging for them.

According to Kilbane & McLean (2008), people held negative perceptions about living amongst people with disabilities. Usually, people disassociated themselves with people suffering from various impairments a situation that led to stigmatization.  Currently, a collaborative approach is used supporting people with various disabilities. Use of self directed approach to support people with various impairments been observed in different countries in the world. As indicated in The Specials (2014), parents and other concerned people have learnt to accept the decisions of their mentally or physically challenged children. It is observed in the website that the parents to the housemates gave them an opportunity and freedom to make their own choices and decide for themselves. This signifies a changing approach towards people with disabilities across the world. Currently, various countries in the world including Australia are running disability support programs which aim at giving adequate attention to people with disabilities. Community participation is being encouraged to ensure success of the program (Dempsey & Nankervis, 2006).


            The term inclusion is used by people with various aspects of disabilities and organizations or forums advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. Inclusion as used by these people means that the society should feel free to accommodate people with assorted disabilities in various activities without pitying them, restricting or limiting them in any way. The inclusion concept has achieved a lot in promoting collaboration between the society and people with disabilities. The term inclusion suggests that people with disabilities should be allowed to take part in normal life activities (Milner & Kelly, 2009).  Inclusion has only been successful in the community level where the society is educated on accommodation of the disabled. This approach is known as community inclusion and is encouraged in every country in the world. Inclusion in the family setting is also much encouraged. Some parents and other family members tend to alienate the disabled in their families and view them as outcasts. Inclusion facilitates accommodation of the disabled in the family and enables the family to involve them in family matters (Jenkin & Wilson, 2009).

This understanding of inclusion is relevant that in the study materials. Study materials and other contemporary research indicate that inclusion look forward to rising participation level the opportunities of the disabled people in the society. In general, inclusion aims at supporting the people with disabilities to live fulfilling lives (Milner & Kelly, 2009). According to Martin (2006), failure of inclusion is the biggest challenge faced by people with impairments besides their disabilities. Inclusion at the community level is approached through community development through education on the benefits of inclusion of people with disabilities. An additional aspect not covered in the study materials is that besides allowing the disabled people to participate in all community based activities, inclusion arguably assists able-bodied people to overcome fears of being disabled. This enables them to view disabled persons as normal and reduces the aspect of pity towards the disabled.

Person Centered Approach

            Person centered approach is greatly evidenced in The Specials documentary and the website. This approach involves supporting people with disabilities in every aspect through community inclusion and support at community level. The person centered approach aims at placing the disabled people at the focal point of the decision making process and allows the decisions made to cover the specific needs of the targeted people (Dowling, Manthorpe & Cowley, 2007). In The Specials (2014), family, friends and people….

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