Disabled, but human

2017-06-06 06:00

TO readers who judge people with disabilities - there was an article about me a few years ago in a local paper aimed at creating awareness about disabilities.

It told of me having a neurological condition called autism.

After that article was published, I heard from a friend that some people who read the article were calling me a “retard”.

This was no surprise to me as I had that thrown in my face for years.

Please consider this: if I were a retard­, would I have earned a university degree in journalism and anthropology, and been the sub-editor for four newspapers at one company?

In addition, I have been on Autism South Africa’s national executive committee (board) and the KZN Provincial Disability Forum at the Premier’s Office.


People who have or had autism:

• singer Susan Boyle;

• actress Daryl Hannah;

• singer James Durbin; and

• classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

It is very easy to become disabled. You can become disabled at any time.

Common causes of disabilities are car accidents, traumatic experiences, brain injuries, violence from crime or abuse, malnutrition and viruses or infections.

I’m sure you or someone you know has been through one of those.

The crisis of psychiatric patients dying after being transferred from Life Esidimeni hospitals because of neglect by the Gauteng Health Department­ and NGO managers, etc., proved that people with mental illness are seen as the lowest of the low in the social and disability hierarchy, and they are treated like trash.

This needs to change.

People with psychiatric disabilities are humans like you.

Just because they have a disability does not make them inhuman.

You need to realise that diversity brings unity.

I’m not only talking about racial diversity, but also different abilities and brain waves.

SHELLIQUE CARBY-BIRD

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.

/News
 

Play with your pet when you're not at home

Many pets are alone at home during the week while their owners are at work. So what do these animals get up to while they’re home alone?

 
 

Paws

How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.