What’s Wrong Wednesday: Paralympian Liz Johnson says it is Different Away from the Games
US Paralympian Simmer Liz Johnson, just stepped out of the pro-athlete circuit and this is what she’s come to discover. As an extension of our recent blog about the Danger of a Single Story, this is another story showing you how the media helps to shape our ideas about people with disabilities; it also is a testament to the long way society needs to go to be inclusive.
“Society loves to focus on limitations and problems rather than what can be achieved and there’s this idea that disabled people will makes things too difficult to be ‘worth it’. Equal opportunities forms may claim to welcome disabled applicants but this means nothing without company adjustments to back it up. Disabled people make the able-bodied feel guilty because society is structured to discriminate against them, but instead of making changes in society, like improving access or incorporating adaptive technology, we choose to assuage this guilt by making disabled people less visible.”
She hit the nail on the head, instead of talking about the issues, people with disabilities are hidden. Her solution? See disabilities and talk about them, know the person.
“The Paralympics brought us face-to-face with disabilities on a daily basis. Athletes were on our screens, in the news and splashed across the papers. We celebrated their achievements and talked openly about their impairments. As a result, the public soon became comfortable with the image of the para-athlete. It’s time to transfer this acceptance across the board into mainstream society: to accept the day-to-day of disability.
Read the full article here.