People living with disabilities are the most neglected by society due to the stigma and stereotypes surrounding disability. This results in some of them having a fear of going to public places. They usually live in isolation, segregation and poverty. Many of them find it challenging to get access to employment opportunities due to their dependence on others for care and support.
People with disabilities in South Africa continue to encounter challenges that deprive them from enjoying their rights. This is caused by a lack of awareness about disabilities in our communities Our government sometimes fails to protect the rights of people with disabilities that can be seen in what happened in the Life Esidimeni tragedy. All these challenges need to be eradicated.
Challenges faced by people living with disabilities
- Economic challenges – Disabled people face economic deprivation due to their disability status. They cannot compete equally with able-bodied people in the income generating activities.
- Discrimination – Most of people living with disabilities experience alot of discrimination in their communities. For example, not employing someone with a disability because you don’t want disabled people working for you.
- Unequal Employment Opportunities –People with disabilities sometimes do not get the same opportunities as non-disabled people. They are usually hired for low income jobs opportunities.
- Transportation – Lack of access to accessible or convenient transportation for people with disabilities. For example, public transport like taxis do not have easy access for people who use wheelchairs.
In order to end challenges faced by people with disabilities the government, corporates and society at large need to prioritise people with disabilities. When they are prioritised they will have dignity like all other human beings. This can be done by offering implementing quotas in employment, businesses, education and so that they are prioritised in these areas.
It is imperative that we as the society embrace people with disabilities so that they don’t feel isolated or discriminated against in our communities. We need to ensure that people with disabilities have the best quality of life.