Mainstream inclusion will not only make people with disabilities feel confident, but it will also make them feel included as a contributing member of the society, rather than a burden.
‘Nothing about us, without us,’ is the slogan of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [UNCRPD], the slogan simply pointed out the fact that decisions cannot be taken around disability issues without involving people with disabilities. Although people without disabilities may have an idea about what people with disabilities want, they can never know about their individual needs without involving them in decision-making processes.
"I am a wheelchair user with visual impairment and I make use of a service dog. I got a job at my current place of work in 2003. The company wasn't accessible, so the human resources department team decided to modify my office for better accessibility. They started with the lift accessibility modification because my office was on the second floor. A new lift with braille on the buttons was installed. It was a good decision but there was no auditory announcement to let me know if am at the right floor. I had to call the human resources department team's attention to it and the team made a quick change by adding an auditory announcement system to the lift. During my office modification process, I realized people without disabilities may know what we wanted during the accessibility modification process, but they may not have the knowledge about how we want our modifications to be," John Swepps said.
Office modification for people with disabilities is always thought of from a wheelchair perspective. Although the thought is there to offer support, the activation is often lacking in detail and accuracy. What is needed is the involvement of people with disabilities in any decision-making process, especially, on issues that will affect them.
Image credit: CEFutcher