Hi guys, thanks for hooking up. I would like to look at how people with disabilities can be helped to live independently so that they can ease that aspect of being a burden to their families and society while they live a purposeful life and get empowered to realize their potential in fulfilling their individual divine assignments.
In my country, Zimbabwe, people still have deep-rooted views and notions that portray people with disabilities as sick, defective and deviant, as a burden to their families and to themselves, dependent on other people’s charity. These views of disability contribute to negative attitude towards people with disabilities and also have consequences for their opportunities in getting education, work or even in raising families of their own. That is why everywhere in the world people with disabilities make up a large portion of poor population.
Everyone, with disability or not, wants to live independently, have a good job, a good home, and be surrounded by family, friends and loved ones. People with disabilities have same aspirations as everyone else’s, to live, work and function as independently as positively.
Is it possible for a person to live independently?
Independence does not only mean having a good job and living on your own, it also means independent decision-making and being responsible for your own choices. People with disabilities are the best experts on their needs, they must take the initiative, individually and/or collectively, in designing and promoting better solutions and organize themselves in fighting for inclusion. As people in the democratic societies, they have the same right to participation, to the same range of options, degree of freedom, control and self-determination in everyday life just like everyone else. This requires the removal of infrastructural, institutional and attitudinal barriers and adopt the universal design principle.
Parents play a major role in fostering independence in their children with disabilities. It is crucial for parents to be realistic on what to expect from their children looking at what the child can do or can’t do. Supportive parents should covey a positive attitude, a good attitude can help a child to achieve good results in the end.
Societies’ low expectations of what people with disabilities can achieve can have a negative impact upon them, it is essential for individuals with disabilities to take control of their lives, to take it upon themselves and decide what they want in life.
As much as it is good for a person with disability to live with his/her own family since they have their best interest at heart, but at times it may deprive them of opportunities to exercise their ability in decision-making and in making choices on their own.
Like it or not independence comes down to having enough money to pay for the bills and for your welfare, therefore, independence begins by being financially independent for it can be difficult for people with disabilities to move away from family if they do not have their own income or enough resources to sustain themselves.
Living independently is a right so people with disabilities should have the opportunity to live on their own.