Image by geralt
It’s fair to say that while attitudes towards disability have improved over the past few decades, we can agree that there are still miles to go. While it’s important to reflect on the victories that have been won in recent years, it’s also worth spending a little time considering what changes disabled people might want to hope for in the future.
Below is a rundown of changes that would make the world at large far more accepting of, and accessible for, people with disabilities.
Better awareness of invisible disabilities
Conditions such as fibromyalgia and MS are classed as invisible disabilities; the sufferer seems, to outside appearances, to be healthy. As a result, society does not treat these people with the care and consideration they may need, as there is no external sign of their condition. Sadly, people with invisible disabilities are often liable to suffer harassment when attempting to use facilities, such as parking spaces, intended for those with disabilities. While there is undoubtedly better awareness of visible disabilities, there’s still work to do in terms of the invisible kind.
Considerations for poor mobility in malls and stores
One of the most well-known myths of disability is that everyone with a disability is in a wheelchair, and truthfully, it’s time that this came to an end. Millions of people struggle with poor mobility, but don’t want to use a wheelchair, or would find it as uncomfortable as walking.
This is a problem when you consider the layout of malls and stores. Retail spaces prefer not to offer seating options in their stores; the idea is to keep people moving, keep them buying. Sadly, this simply means that people who are not in a wheelchair, but struggle with poor mobility, are unable to use these spaces. While it’s understandable that stores don’t want to crunch space, providing some seating options would be a wonderful way to be more inclusive for people who are disabled but do not use a wheelchair.
Increased therapeutic options
At present, if someone has a chronic pain condition such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, their options for treatment are rather limited. There’s plenty of extremely useful compression sleeves, braces, and other similar devices, but for the most part, treatment for chronic pain continues to revolve around painkillers.
This isn’t a good idea. Not only are painkillers addictive (as has been exemplified by the scale of the opioid crisis), but continued use can have detrimental effects on the user’s organs and other bodily systems. As a result, a future that is disability-friendly would look to innovate more support and therapeutic options to help manage pain conditions, rather than just issuing painkillers as a cure-all that actually doesn’t cure anything. Painkillers only mask the underlying issue, so it would be extremely useful if medical professionals, and society as a whole, looked at improving therapeutic options for chronic pain management.
The above changes would improve the quality of life for people with disabilities an incredible amount, but are there any other changes that you’d like to see added to the list?