Hi everyone, greetings from south Arkansas. While pondering on things to blog about, one thing has stuck in my head for a few days. After reading an article on Facebook that was shared by Allison about a hospital not wanting to give a transplant to a young child who had a disability, I wonder, how many people think that people with disabilities are somehow lesser human beings?
In our field, most of us have ran across examples of bias against those with disabilities. Most of us have watched some companies open up new registers when there is a long line of people with disabilities only to take care of the “normal” person at the back of the line or had people ask the caregiver what an individual needs instead of asking the individual. It begs the questions, do people just have a natural tendency to think that people with disabilities are somehow less important? Is their time less valuable? Are they somehow less capable of contributing to society?
When I look at the individuals I work for, I do not see someone who has “special needs”. Of course, I realize that these are people I work with everyday, people I know, people I love. It is beyond all comprehension that people with disabilities could be discounted as somehow not worthy of everything that people without disabilities are.
As for this hospital, I am glad they are reconsidering, but why did it take a public outcry to attach importance? I think this story has made me more aware that some people in our “enlightened” society still see people with disabilities as somehow less important. I guess I forgot that there are still those out there that view them as “abnormal”.
We have to continue to fight to change the hearts and minds of people who look at our individuals as different. We have to continue to speak up when people treat them as if they are not quite as important.