December 3 is recognized as the International Day of Persons With Disabilities by the United Nations with an aim to focus and find solutions, for various issues faced by the differently-abled across the world.

The theme for the International Day of Disabilities – 2019 is ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda.’

The theme focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognizes disability as a cross-cutting issue, to be considered in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. (Source: www.un.org).

world disability day

Unfortunately, in many parts of India the differently-abled face various problems right from getting access to move freely in public places, transport, finding jobs to even availing benefits of the schemes designed for their welfare.

It is disheartening to note that the disabled are still looked down upon in our society and they lack support at every level. Medical experts define disability as a condition that could be the inability to function physically, mentally, lacking cognitive development and could be a mix of various factors.

Whatever is the condition, on this International Day of Persons With Disabilities, let’s take a pledge to stand by those in need of help. The next time, you want to assist a differently-abled person, be mindful of the following. Also Read: Common Misconceptions About Cerebral Palsy

Be Respectful:

The first and foremost gesture is to show a genuine and deep respect towards the affected person, in both words and action. If introduced to a person with limited abilities – greet by shaking hands, talk in a regular voice. If the person is wheelchair-bound, sit down and communicate politely.

Choose The Right Words:

When talking to persons with disabilities, it is of utmost importance to choose the right words. Do not use words like ‘blind’, crippled, dumb, etc. Instead choose terms like visually challenged, differently-abled, as these words define respect.

Always Ask If Help Is Needed:

For many of us, it is obvious to offer help especially if we find the disabled person struggling. But remember not all differently-abled like to be assisted and can even get offended. If you find somebody struggling – ask first. Just inquire if he or she would require any help, assistance. Help if the person agrees, if not stay away politely and do not insist.

Pose Only Relevant Questions:

Do not feign interest in the health condition of the disabled person. If the affected person chooses to reveal, listen to them carefully and do not discuss it with others. If you have any questions, ask those who are relevant to the condition. Be very, very gentle while enquiring about the health condition.

Communicate Directly:

Many a time, we forget to communicate directly with the differently-abled person but talk through their family members, nurses and those assisting. It is extremely important to talk to the person directly as it makes them feel happy, confident.

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