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The disabled are treated in society as second class citizens


          Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, noted that “All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights.” Philosophically and ideally, it, of course, reflects equal rights and what “ought to be” in every society. Nonetheless, in reality, it raises two simple questions: Are we all equal?  If the answer is yes, why do we still live in a double standard society? Moreover, the rights of the disabled who are treated as second citizens are the big question mark in our society; however, some activists and governments claim that they have been trying to enable people who have disabilities to live normally, yet this has not been realized and also we can see the malpractice towards disabled people. This essay aims to answer the above question by considering three major aspects: public transportation, discrimination against the disabledand job opportunities.

        The access to public transportation of the disabled is the first reason why I firmly believe that the disabled are treated in society as second class citizens. The way we treat the disabled in Thailand is a good example, for it’s almost impossible for the disabled to use the public transportations e.g. bus, boat, train etc. bBecause all of these types of transportations doesn’t care enough about the safety or the convenience of the disabled, so it doesn’t go too far to say that public transportation is not the best choice for them. On the other hands, some people might argue that some companies, such as the sky train, aka BTS, or the underground train, aka MRT, that try to enable the physically disabled, especially those on wheelchairs, to access public transportation. They do so by giving disabled passengers a 50 percent discount or providing them a special service such as an elevator or an assistant at the station. Notwithstanding, imagine you are in the peak hour,; it is not easy for you, even as an ordinary man to get on the train because there’s no room; thus, forget about the room for the disabled !

        Discrimination against the disabled is another aspect which is overlooked by the ordinary people. Honestly, many people always look at the disabled via the lens of pity and think that they are the burden of their society.   Consequently, the disabled are always treated differently although they don’t want to. However, some opponents believe that they have to treat the disabled differently because sympathy is a necessity and maybe the way to show that we don’t forget them or leave them behind; however, such an idea completely ignores the feeling of human who should not be treated differently even when they have some physically or mentally disabilities.

       The final factor which makes me believe that the disabled are treated in ways inferior to ordinary people is job opportunities. It’s obviously that if you are the disabled, you may find some difficulties togetting a job. And of course, there are just only few jobs for the disabled. Moreover, according tostatistics, in developing countries, 80% to 90% of persons in working age with disabilities are unemployed. On the other hands, there is an attempt to create skills and job opportunities for the disabled; for instance, in Indonesia, there was a three-day job fair involving hundreds of companies in order to provide jobs for the disabled.     However, the limited capabilities of the disabled are still the main obstacle for them to get a job compared with the ordinary people in the same position.

        In conclusion, although there are tireless attempts from the governments and organizations to enable people who have disabilities to live normally, the disabled cannot access to public transportations with safety and convenience. Moreover, discrimination against the disabled is the thing that we can’t deny that exists, and of course, ordinary people treat the disabled differently. Furthermore, seeking a job is not easy at all for the disabled because of their limited capabilities and job competition. Therefore, from my point of view, the disabled are still treated as second class citizens.

Author:

ฑภิพร สุพร

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