This I Believe

Jessica - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 4, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe…

Ever feel that you are at a disadvantage? According to the 2000 US Census Bureau there are over 49.7 million people with disabilities in the United States, which is equivalent to1 in 5 people having disabilities. I believe that people should have equal opportunities in the workforce, socially and for schooling no matter what your disability may be. I am hearing impaired, I know what it is like to feel rejected due to a disability that is part of your character.

When applying for a job, many employers say that they are a non-discriminating environment, yet those with disabilities still seem not to get the jobs, over those who seem “normal” to society. While one who is disabled does not have to tell the future employer of their disabilities, it is frowned upon if they don’t because they can find otherwise. For example, those who are obese may not seem physically fit for a job, yet they have the same competencies as another prospect, yet they will not get the job because of their weight, which could ruin the image for the company or they may not be able to keep up with the pace due to their breathing issues due to their weight.

Socially, it is difficult for people to feel accepted as like in the workforce because people’s eyes wander if you are not similar to them and stand out due to your differences from them. For example, one who has autism may not necessarily look different from you or me, but their actions may seem a bit immature. For them, it is hard to be social with other people because they get laughed at, not taken seriously or even neglected. My best family friend, Jamie, is autistic and she goes to a special school for autism but when she is out in the neighborhood, people stare at her due to actions and people do not give her the time of day to listen to what she has to say because people assume that she is not intelligent and that she has nothing to speak about.

Going to school as a child is torture for any young kid, but one who is disabled hates it even more due to the cruelty of kids. Being in a classroom, may be considered a social situation, but now a teacher (adult figure) is involved, and they do not know how to react to someone who is disabled. A child who has special learning needs, such as getting Special Ed, a teacher may not know how to teach the child the way that they need to be taught. This seems to happen a lot of times because the school administration just assumes that the child is slow at learning so therefore it is not the teacher’s teaching style, but the child’s fault. The child ends up being neglected and having more problems with learning later in life because they are so far behind.

I believe that everyone should be treated equally no matter what their disability may be, because you never know who around you may have a disability and later in life you may develop one yourself.