Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Slowly does it…

Since yesterday’s post where I unashamedly asked for more readers (resulting in some people kindly promoting the blog and helping me to boost the audience), I have been pondering the impact that ‘The Adventures of Wheelchair Boy’ has had on society. The simple answer is none, not just because a mass audience doesn’t read the blog but also any major changes in the way people are treated takes a long time. The major problems surrounding disability that I have wrote about aren’t going to disappear over night but if the smaller and more manageable issues are addressed, that will help the bigger picture.

I am not going to claim to be an expert on women but feminism is a great example. It’s just over 85 years since females over 21 were given the vote in Britain (The Representation of the People Act 1928) but they are still not completely equal to men. It’s like black people. They’re no longer slaves and can live freely but racism still exists. It’s inherent in society and will be removed one day (bold claim) but when, I don’t know. Now, I’m not saying disabled people have been treated the worst out of all minority groups (so let’s not have a big argument) but merely that equality is not immediate.

One word sums up the history of disabled people: Asylums. Some people might remember these institutions because they were around until the 1980’s. Basically, disabled people were kept away from society and were forcibly silenced. The ‘care’ was inhumane and brutal. Just reading about it, I count my lucky stars that the whole system was abolished before my birth. In fact, when I reflect upon this, I can’t quite believe how two faced Britain was for condemning Hitler back in the 30’s but allowing the persecution of disabled people to go on for so long.

You might question why I am bringing up the past. We can all learn from remembering the past but don’t dwell on it. What happened thankfully ended. Or did it? This is the big climactic point for you all to think about. Disabled people are not locked up anymore but are not fully integrated in society. Just like African Americans were given the vote under Lincoln but civil rights continued until desegregation was abolished. Asylums no longer keep us quiet but most people, including the government, still don’t hear us.

Bye for now!

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