Changing society’s attitudes to disability has been at the forefront of many news items lately. Government and funding bodies have been working to empower disabled people to be able to make their own choices.
Empowerment is something that many people in the disability sector are pushing to achieve. Through stories and studies there are more and more examples of how to enhance disabled people’s autonomy. Last month Massey University’s SHORE and Whariki Research Centre released findings from a study focusing on New Zealanders’ experiences of living with a disability.
The people surveyed were aged from 12 to 25 years. The survey results were presented in cartoon form to explain the findings in a way that hopes to challenge able-bodied people’s perspectives. It highlights the biggest issue as being able-bodied people’s attitudes.
The examples in this study will be common to many people with lived experience of disability. These include being asked inappropriate questions by strangers, being discriminated against or humiliated, and the increased cost and planning required to attend events. A comic strip is a non-threatening way to explain these issues and it can be used as a tool to open broader conversations.
Educator, media personality and disability advocate, Red Nicholson, also spoke to Muskaan (an Indian TV series) about what it has meant to him growing up with a disability in New Zealand. He challenges disabled people to think about ‘internalised ableism’. By this he means that many disabled people grow up being confronted by continuous messaging around disability as being something negative. As a result many disabled people, often subconsciously, do their best to mask the impact of their impairment.
Both the research and Red’s interview provide insights to increase awareness and enable individuals with disabilities to live independent lives.
Independence and autonomy are the key driving factors behind the creation of Mycare. Mycare empowers disabled people, their families, and those that work in the sector to have freedom of choice over their lives, be it choosing the work they do or who comes into their home to support them.
Thank you for being on this journey of change with us.
If you have any questions about the type of support we can offer please contact us on 0800 677 700 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.