Discrimination against people with disabilities
Have you seen any physically-challenged person wheel themselves into your local places of worship lately? How can they, without being carried? It is ironic that the establishment discriminates against those who are still alive and, those coming after now – who may be physically challenged.
They take delight in doing things all by themselves, but the state makes them look helpless and subjects them to leaning on persons for help. I take it that we have a well-fashioned out state policy to annihilate people living with burdens.
You might be drawn to assume that we speak only of places of worship. How about public buildings and our schools? Not even our university edifices take cognizance of this defect. Take a walk to the bank and imagine how a disabled person will ever access these buildings. I do not see access-ramps provided for them. How about residential buildings, with no access-ramps for physically-challenged visitors?
I wonder how these folks manage to be trained in public and private schools these days. How about our hotels? No access-ramps with handrail as well. Aren’t there people on wheel chairs who may want to go to the hotel for refreshment and leisure with folks? And when they do should they fret and see their condition as a curse or a blessing?
How many of these hotels even have raised chamber-pots for the disabled to use in their hotels? Government needs to sensitize all stakeholders on the needful which are many: ways to increase the size of carriage lift in public buildings to assist people who use the wheelchair; our transportation system, rail, road and air should have comfortable sections for people with disabilities.
Construction companies should be thoughtful enough to include an all-inclusive design concepts even if they are not suggested by clients and government planners and supervisors need to supervise buildings for these defects. We need to get it right for everyone, after all; nobody knows what will happen tomorrow; young now and old tomorrow, if not handicapped. Think about it.
• Simon Abah,Port Harcourt Rivers State.