Para-olympics 2012 Has Redefined Attitudes Towards People with Disabilities Globally
The millions of people around the who watched the nearly two week event only helped to show how much attitudes have changed for the better towards disability. This is a positive step, because it is society that disables and as soon as society begins to perceive the disabled people amidst them in a positive light, disability simply disappears.
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As someone closely associated with disability issues, I have been following the goings on in the 2012 London Para-Olympics whose Olympic torch will officially go off today and I can say with confidence that disability does not mean inability at all.
We all know that during the Nazi days in Germany, being a disabled person was certainly a death-sentence and many people with physical, neurological or mental disabilities were curled off from the society of “normal” people and most of them met their untimely deaths. Interestingly even to this day, disability is still considered an eye-sore and many parents here in Uganda try to hide their disabled children away from the public eye and go on to deny them the right to an education just because they fear the stigma of being associated with the parenthood of this disabled child
What very many people, especially in some parts of Africa don’t appreciate is the fact that every human being that lives has unique talents and this talent distribution does not exclude persons with disabilities. Watching athletes on wheelchair, double amputees and the visually impaired athletes do their thing at the Para-Olympics 2012 in London made disability look extremely dismal as a challenge to the lives of those who really want to make disability appear inconsequential to their dreams of being full human beings. Great athletes at the Para Olympics like Oscar Pistorius of South Africa made their disability look completely invisible as they sprinted away to gold after gold as if they were perfect and without any defect. The talent show in all areas of the sports in London 2012 was simply unbelievable.
As the Para-Olympics torch goes off today, the world should begin to think differently about disabled citizens in their amidst. The millions of people around the world who watched the nearly two week event only helped to show how much attitudes have changed for the better towards disability. This is a positive step, because it is society that disables and as soon as society begins to perceive the disabled people amidst them in a positive light, disability simply disappears.