This article focuses on disabilites in the workplace. Due to people's negative views on disabled people, disabled people are automatically disadvantaged in the workplace whether it is in the form of unemployment, having poor quality jobs or being paid unfairly. The article stated that "Research shows economic inactivity and under-employment are detrimental to people’s mental health. While factors such as being wealthy, and having affordable housing and social support help reduce the negative mental health effects of disability." So on top of all their daily inconveniences that being disabled brings, they have additional stress and problems that they should not have to be going through. I believe this is terrible because just because these people are limited to certain things and think and act differently, does not mean they are inferior or stupid. In fact, they have many special skills and many view the world differently to 'normal' humans which can really assist in many areas of life. For example, companies such as Microsoft are deliberately recruiting people with autism who have enhanced abilities to see patterns and pick up mistakes faster and more accurately than their peers. So instead of trying to help people with disabilities overcome their limitations, we should be harnessing their strengths in the workplace. This will improve their health and mental well-being.
This was a very interesting article written by the mother of an autistic child who had a complete meltdown on the plane before takeoff. This was the mother's worst fear. At first, when her child began having a meltdown, she was afraid and stressed as she did not know what would happen next. But she eventually managed to take deep breaths and think of an effective way of handling this situation before it worsened and before her family got kicked off the plane. It was interesting to read about how the different passengers on the plane reacted to this. Some were very judgemental and not understanding at all. But others showed support and performed acts of kindness. For example, several hours after this family landed, a kind grandmother who had been seated close to them stopped to chat. After this mother confirmed that her son has special needs, she was particularly concerned about his education. She wanted to know if they had managed to find a good school for him because he needed a school where people would understand him. We must all try our hardest to understand and assist families who have to deal with these types of situations with an autistic family member even if we do not completely understand what is going on.
This article is about a Chinese climber who lost both feet when he suffered severe frostbite after giving his sleeping bag to a sick teammate when climbing Mt Everest. His legs were amputated almost 20 years later after he was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer. But that did not stop him in attempting to make it to the top of Mt Everest. He tried to reach the peak, again and again, until he finally made it on his fifth attempt. This happened 43 years after he lost both his feet climbing the mountain. This made me realise that with motivation and strength disabled people can achieve just as much as non-disabled people. Instead of losing hope and thinking that he will never be able to reach his goal, he thought positively, put effort into achieving his goal and finally reached his goal. He turned something that people may see as impossible, possible.
This video made me extremely happy as it showed Australian volunteers making a difference for people living with disabilities in Fiji. Living in a remote village of Fiji might seem like paradise, but for someone with a disability, it can mean a life of isolation as people with disabilities are being treated as separate, sick and damaged people and are rarely included in society (such as schools, employment and training opportunities). Services like special schools have opened in Fiji's cities and three Australian volunteers travelled to Fiji (including a disabled volunteer) to give advice to disabled children and their parents. They also advised schools on how to tailor lessons for disabled students. These volunteers positively impacted people's views on disabilities and the volunteers even inspired parents who have disabled kids. The parents who have disabled kids said to the disabled volunteer that her story is very inspirational and that they are very keen to help their children to get into the employment force and they really want to support their children and she has changed their point of view. These sorts of programmes are very beneficial and must continue not only in Fiji but all over the world until every single person accepts, values and includes disabled people.
This video allows us to see what it is like to take this autistic child to the grocery store. So much goes into a simple trip to the grocery store that most people don't even realize. Most people do not have to think about all the things that this mother needs to think about when she goes to the grocery store with her child. She needs to speak to him when they arrive at the grocery store before they go inside and take him through what they are going to do and she needs to see what mood he is in. She constantly needs to tell him what to do and what not to do and always needs to keep an eye on him as he is easily distracted and can break items and not be aware of others (he does not understand social cues). He also loves to touch everything which means he can knock things over. At the end of this video, his mother said, "It's a lot of work but I want everyone to know that I think he is really worth it because he is a funny, curious, interesting guy. He is unlike any person I've ever met before in my life and I want everyone to see that for themselves because he is just a delight to be around." After she said this, I did not feel sorry for her anymore, I felt proud and happy for her and then viewed this autistic kid as a very special, kind-hearted human being.
This is a video about discrimination towards people with disabilities. It saddens me that many people see disabled people as inferior. As stated in the video, "...In the end, it doesn't matter what one can or cannot do because of a disability. We are all the same on the inside." This video is sending a powerful message that we must realise and face the issue of disability discrimination so that we can all help disabled people feel supported instead of feeling isolated. As stated in the video, "Disability isn't a choice, but discrimination is."
This video is about parents opening up about how their lives have been changed by the fact that their kids have autism. In the beginning, when these kids were born or adopted, their parents could pick up aspects about their kids that were not normal. For example, one of the mothers could not catch her son's eye to establish eye contact with him. Another mother said that her daughter was very emotional and her daughter hated the way close felt. After going for tests, these kids were diagnosed with autism. These parents felt very upset and overwhelmed and even the woman who was diagnosing one of the kids told the father that his son will never have a job, he will never be able to work and he will never be able to live alone. After feeling hurt for a while, these parents learned so much about their kids and realised that they are so much more valuable than themselves and others originally believed and managed to understand how their child behaves and the reasons behind it. They discovered how their child's way of communicating with others (one child communicated through sign language for example) and their talents and skills. However, there were challenges that they faced no matter how much these parents understood their kids such as society not accepting these kids. One of the autistic kids has a passion for Disney however she does not like Disneyland as it is too much of an experience for her because there are too many lights, too many people and too many things to buy for her to be able to enjoy Disneyland. One of the mothers said, "People say that mind blindness is a core feature of autism but to her society is what is mind blind and thinking that we are so sure that autism is a disability." When I heard her say that, it really moved me. If society learns more about autism, about what it truly is, then the world would be a better, more accepting place.
This video is about all the different areas in which these disabled people are succeeding in all because of a person or people in their lives who encouraged and supported them. For example, one of the boys in the video said that he led his high school team to two championships because his carers treated him like everybody else. When people see or hear about disabled people they automatically think about their disadvantages and what they can not do, including myself. But this video helped me realise that yes, they do have disadvantages and things that they can not do but they have so many things that they can achieve and are just as able as us even though for some of them it may take extra effort to accomplish and that is what we should think about first. What they can do.
This video is shown from the perspective of a young autistic girl. It allows us to understand what is going on inside her head. She takes in a lot of information and she feels as if her brain is too crowded and is going to explode. Everything that people say to her impact her and she can not express how she feels and interact normally with others. For example, when she gets onto the bus and the bus driver says "Off somewhere fun today?" the girl does not know how to respond so she just says "I..." and the bus driver does not understand and responds by saying "Are you alright?". This event in addition to all the other events that happened to her throughout the day built up in her head and she felt like she could not cope. This video really assisted me in understanding how autistic people may feel at times (on a bad day) and I strongly relate to the bus driver because he did not understand why this girl responded in the way that she did and can not interact properly. So from the video I learned that we must take a minute and give an autistic person more time to process information and try to understand autism.