The Misunderstood People with Disabilities

I have worked with people with disabilities in Ireland and other countries.  I`ve spoken to families of people with disabilities and I experience disabilities myself.  I have also studied the topic of disability. So, lets be clear, I do consider myself as somewhat of an authority on this issue.

There are a variety of emotions people experience whether they are born with disabilities or develop them.  The resentment of the so called able people who can function in life in a way that society demands.  Frustration at trying to convince others that you are still valuable.  Anger at having become a person with a disability. Ultimately the person feels hopeless. His care may be inadequate.  Others may increase the effects of the disability by treating him as “Special” which is seen as an appropriate term by many but the word conveys that the person is different from others.  When a person has a disability that means you are not the same as others, even though it may be your dream to be “Like everybody else”.  Too many things may be done for the person who may then lose any independence they may have.

People with disabilities can be written off by others.  Some think they are of no use. Others think they are a drain on the state.  There is a belief among some that people with disabilities shouldn`t work even though it has been proven numerous times in Britain that people with disabilities can work when given the right supports.

Current disability policy in Ireland is, to be honest, pathetic and it`s discriminatory. I have numerical dyslexia which means I have difficulty with math and anything with numbers including money, time and timetables and recognizing numbers.  I worked on and off in jobs I didn`t like or didn`t have any interest in. I was often told that my job would not be adjusted in any way.  One person said “that I was here to work the in the same way as everyone else that no exception would be made for you.” to quote a physiotherapist working in a Health Service Executive mental health unit who I worked for.  She went on to work in a government advocacy group for people with disabilities.  It was clear, having worked with her, she had no idea about the issues for people with disabilities .  Even though I knew what I needed for to work employers in Ireland mostly failed to offer support to me except for the Civil Service contracts I was given under the previous government who gave me supported employment.

The final nail in the coffin, as concerns employment, was that the current Irish government took the right away from me to work. They made it difficult, and for most impossible, to have a disability and work. People with disabilities are not included in internships. If they are they are not  given a job at the end. That`s a fact. If receiving a payment in social welfare for a disability in Ireland  it is illegal to work.

So whats needed to change this?  Policies in Ireland need to be positive toward people with disabilities, especially in the area of employment.  we could follow the British model whereby the person is given a job and, by law, the employer has to give reasonable accommodation. The person is asked what supports he needs to work in the job and if this doesn`t cost much and is relatively easy for the employer to do then it must be done.  Every single one of us has something to offer others. We all have a purpose in life.  We need to cherish ourselves for who we are. That we are enough just as we are.

Thankfully nowadays many people see people with disabilities in a more enlightened way because of charities and others who have been educating the population about disability. In Ireland people are addressing disability issues such as abuse in care homes.  The future is looking brighter.  Government policy needs to change and an interest by all political parties needs to be expressed and reflected in new policies that benefit people with disabilities.



Published by:

Gabriel Woods

I am the author of The Golden Age Dawns, a fantasy science fiction book.I have traveled to many countries around the world including India, Australia, Scotland, England, Ireland, America, Amsterdam, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain. I have worked in mental health and disability for most of my life. I have an honours Degree in Psychology, a Masters in Aid-work Management, a Certificate in Counseling Skills and I am a certified coach. I have written my first novel, The Golden Age Dawns which will be published in Amazon at the end of April. I have a Kindle book available in Amazon Easter Rising 1916 A Family Answers The Call For Ireland`s Freedom which is very popular and has achieve high ratings. I have always aimed to help and support people all my working life. Much of my learning from this is in my book, some of the ideas I share on this blogging site along with beautiful places I write about that I have traveled to. I am concerned about world politics at the moment and hope that my new book will go toward making the world a better place and helping individuals feel better about themselves. I am living in Ireland near Dublin. Apart from writing my book I have been working as a volunteer on a helpline for people with depression, bipolar and depression. What I love most is traveling and sunny countries. I love to visit important spiritual, religious, or historic places when I am in holiday but I also like holidays on the beach. I have a wide variety of music that I like from pop music to dance music and rock music. My hobbies are social commentary, politics, reading all kinds of books, the gym, gardening, D.I.Y. I love to socialize and meet new people. I like to learn new things. I am the author of: Easter Rising 1916, A Family Answers The Call For Ireland`s Freedom My Novel The Golden Age Dawns. Gabriel Woods achieved a degree in psychology in University College Dublin, Ireland. He then studied a postgraduate course in UCD which focused on the management of humanitarian aid work. He learned about African culture and the issues aid workers face in Africa. Gabriel Woods has travelled around the world. He has lived in Sydney and Brisbane in Australia. He explored important religious and cultural Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim sites of India. He learned about the spiritual practices of the people that live and worship there. Gabriel Woods also spent time exploring important aboriginal sites in Australia and the lessons aboriginals have for humanity. Gabriel Woods has lived in Dublin, London and Edinburgh. He has travelled widely throughout mainland Europe including Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Netherlands and Germany with a focus on areas of cultural importance. These sites throughout the world that Gabriel has visited have had a profound effect on him which he expresses as he writes about these areas in his novel. Gabriel has returned to Ireland. He worked voluntarily for Aware helpline that supports people experiencing depression and anxiety. He is now a fully qualified life coach. He lives in a village near the banks of The Royal Canal.

Categories Author, Disabilities in Ireland, Fianna Fail, Fine Geal, History, Ireland, Irish Election, life coaching, New author, political manifestos, psychology, Reading difficulties, Social Commentary, Sociology, spirituality, The Golden Age Dawns, Uncategorized, writingTags Leave a comment

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