Beyond Accessibility: Treating People with Disabilities as People

Essay by kaufeehausekittyCollege, UndergraduateA-, March 2004

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Most people feel relatively uncomfortable when they meet someone with an obvious physical disability. Usually, the disability seems to stand out in ones mind so much that they often forget the person is still a person. In turn, their discomfort is likely to betray their actions, making the other person uncomfortable too. People with disabilities have goals, dreams, wants and desires similar to people without disabilities. Andre Dubus points out very clearly in his article, "Why the Able-bodied Still Don't Get It," how people's attitudes toward "cripples" effect them. It's is evident that although our society has come a long way with excepting those with physical disabilities, people do not understand that those with physical disabilities are as much human as the next person

The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 set out to end the discrimination people with disabilities encounter. The Act gave disabled people the right to employment, access to goods, facilities, and services and the right to buy and rent land and property.

These rights came into force in December 1996, making treating a disabled person less favorably than an able-bodied person unlawful. Further rights came into force in October 1999, including the idea that service providers should consider making reasonable adjustments to the way they deliver their services so that people with a disability can use them. (The DDA...) However, despite these regulations, people with disabilities still experience difficulty carrying out normal day to day activities on a regular basis. Many people do not realize how lucky they are. They feel like they are going through tough times and complain about all sorts of things, when they do not realize the agonies that some people have to go through just to make it through the day. For example, one day Dubus said he was walking at the...