Myth surrounding persons with disabilities in Africa as compared to Europe

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My Story is a program on GQ TV which usually takes place on Saturdays.

Today’s topic is all about the “Myth surrounding persons with disabilities in Africa as compared to Europe”

Myth surrounding persons with disabilities in Africa as compared to Europe

In all regions of the world persons with disabilities face attitudinal barriers, including prejudice, low expectations and even fear.

What is disability?

A disability is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).

There are many types of disabilities, such as those that affect a person’s:

  • Vision
  • Movement
  • Thinking
  • Remembering
  • Learning
  • Communicating
  • Hearing
  • Mental health
  • Social relationships

Negative attitudes about disability impact on all aspects of the lives of persons with disabilities, including the ability to access education, to participate in non-exploitative work, to live where and with whom one chooses, to marry and start a family, and to move about freely within the community.

Attitudes to disability are not always uniform within a region or even within a country.

Different groups or individuals may have beliefs about disability that vary from those held
by wider society and beliefs may vary even within small communities and within families.

In African societies, as in societies in other regions, there are examples of positive and
empowering beliefs about disability.

However, as is the case in many settings across the globe, disability is sometimes also associated with negative perceptions resulting in stigma, discrimination, exclusion and violence, as well as other forms of abuse of persons with disabilities.

How does Africa View disability?
African society still regards children with disabilities as incapable, ill and a burden on society. In other words, they represent a ‘problem’ to be dealt with separately from other children’s issues. More than 80% of black children with disabilities live in extreme poverty in inhospitable environments.
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