Every day, every year, individuals and families undergo various risks either trying to cross the Mexico-US border in to the United States, or crossing the sea in small boats from the Libyan coast into the Italian island of Lampedusa, despite the high death toll. Some make their way as stowaways into baggage compartments of aircrafts and ships while others embark on holiday trips for good or relocate for work or otherwise. Whether this move is made legally or not, they all have one goal in mind – A better life.
Thousands migrate from all over the world to Western Europe and North America each year, either illegally or through various migration schemes both for skilled and unskilled labour. If the capable and fully functional have lost all hope in their mother nations, there is then little or no future guaranteed for those with disabilities.
Being born with a disability or acquiring one as a citizen in certain societies is automatically a license to a career and future of failure. This involves mainly poor or mismanaged economies without a policy or program that takes into consideration people with disabilities (PWD), a huge waste in the society’s potential talent and resources. Being disabled is more likely a curse in these communities and the disabled are not only discriminated upon but also, in extreme cases, treated as outcast. In contrast, developed nations and societies embrace PWDs and implement various programs and infrastructure in an attempt to seamlessly integrate them into the society.
Various innovative solutions and assistive technologies are being constantly developed to empower people with disabilities. New technology is breaking down barriers to communication, education, mobility and employment for people with disabilities and poorer societies should not be left out. It is in the same spirit of equal opportunity that the Paralympic games were founded. Such togetherness and inclusion must be encouraged at all levels of society internationally.
Disabilities are innate or acquired. Acquired disabilities are usually a result of disease or disaster, both of which are relatively high up the scale in developing countries due to poor infrastructure, lack of favourable public health policies, corruption and mismanagement. One thing leads to another in a sort of vicious cycle. Such a cycle progressively promotes an increase in disability throughout the population if the leadership fails to take action. More successful economies have well organized programs and services for the disabled which generally include:
- Employment Opportunity Programs – For job security, job acceleration and to guarantee equal job opportunities for the disabled.
- Disability Compensation Programs – To compensate those declared as PWD
- Adapted infrastructure both outdoors and indoors for people with various types of disabilities
Various compensatory mechanisms towards disabilities in organ systems and organisms. In humans, this is more noticeable if disability is acquired in childhood. It is therefore not unusual to find disabled people excel naturally in other domains as a cover-up tool, and even overwhelmingly if given the opportunity. Unfortunately, many in poor and managing societies will never have that chance of knowing where they truly belong unless their special needs are met in terms of specialized training, additional services and assistance. Some conditions like ADHD and dyslexia have been known to have their advantages, with a number of celebrities and successful people suffering from these conditions.
Poor nations certainly have other priorities like tackling basic feeding for their populations. But it is already very well known that most leaders of even the poorest nations intentionally deprioritize the basics over personal enrichment and the country’s defense for selfish reasons. If only such nations could focus on empowering people, ensuring that the needs of all groups are taken into account by local decision-makers, and by working to ensure service providers and key actors in positions of power at community and government levels are willing and able to effectively and inclusively respond to people’s needs, the world would be a better place for all. Patriotism in every nation would eventually reign and there would be no reason scrambling for adherence to other nationalities.