A person with disability has the same fundamental rights like everyone else. Having some form of disability is a natural, normal part of society, so there is no need to sugarcoat it with words like “differently-able” or “specially challenged”, speakers said at a workshop yesterday.
They said these expressions acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses, thus highlighting what people with disabilities can do. But those do not do enough to recognise the physical, emotional, and psychological limitations disability places on an individual just by the nature of its existence.
Women with Disabilities Development Foundation (WDDF) organised the session titled, “Communication Skill Development and Use Media to Protect and Promote Human Rights of Women with Disabilities” at The Daily Star Centre in Dhaka.
Members of the rights organisation, journalists and people with disabilities took part in the programme.
Zahirul Islam Mamun, chief executive editor of ATN Bangla, said, “There is a tendency among some parents to hide their children with disabilities due to social stigma. A change in mindset is a must in this regard.”
Shirin Akhter, chairperson of WDDF, said persons with disabilities face discrimination in every sphere of life. “Women with disabilities are the worst sufferers as they are deprived of rights because of the existing social attitude towards them.”
Ashrafun Nahar Misti, executive director of WDDF, said there are 11 acts and policies on women and persons with disabilities but they are not being implemented properly.
Mahfuza Jasmine, special correspondent of news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS), recommended reserving some seats in parliament for people with disabilities to ensure their political rights.
Rabeya Baby, staff reporter of The Daily Ittefaq, focussed on enhancing awareness so that persons with disabilities could have better access to education and employment opportunities. Masum Akhter, vice chairperson of WDDF, also spoke.