In the past, humanity was plagued with discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, and religion. People with disabilities have fallen victim to prejudice as well. They are still facing challenges as of today and often end up being less engaged with society due to their disability. Fortunately, times are changing. Governments have sought to eradicate discrimination of the disabled through the passage of laws that will protect and grant them equal rights and opportunities.
As defined by law, a disability is the impairment of an individual in any aspect such as physical, cognitive, and intellectual, among others. Due to their condition, they are often restricted from fully participating with society. They face discrimination and challenges in terms of education, employment, everyday living, and other aspects human life. Ideally, an individual cannot be excluded from the protection provided by basic human rights laws. However, due to their disabilities, these individuals are not fully able to exercise their rights and face unjust treatment because of their condition.
Several organizations around the world have committed themselves to helping and defending disabled people from discrimination. One of these organizations is the United Nations (UN). The UN conceived the Declaration of the Rights of Disabled Persons in 1975. This declaration states that all disabled individuals shall have inherent right to human dignity, civil, and political rights. They must also be given the means to be self-reliant like other non-handicapped individuals. They are also granted the right to attain employment and fair treatment in the workplace.
Governments around the world also followed suit in the drive to provide equal rights to the handicapped, which includes India. In the past, disabled people in India were subjected to antipathy and disapproval. The Indian government passed the Constitutional rights for disabled persons which aimed to eradicate discrimination against this minority group. They have an inclusive education system that caters to all levels. In terms of employment, handicapped individuals have the right to work on equal footing with others and must be given the same opportunities in the workplace as that of non-disabled persons.
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 was passed which banned the discrimination of disabled individuals when it comes to employment, education, and transport. The overseer of the law in the UK is the Equality and Human Rights Commission. This law was also passed in Ireland. In the United States, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 banned discrimination in terms of receiving federal funds and obtaining full benefits from financial assistance programs from the government. Thus, the disabled were granted better opportunities for medical care to aid their condition.
Although disabled people are still presently facing discrimination, world governments will continuously strive to pass laws for their benefit and protection. With the help of the government and the citizens, the day will come wherein disabled people will truly stand on equal footing as non-handicapped people.