Is social exclusion simply subconscious ignorance?

by Emma

Having a disability can induce social exclusion, even from a positive place. The perspective of someone being ‘different’ can segregate them from society and alienate their own social needs and normality.

A wheelchair doesn’t change how someone feels or thinks. A walking aid does not make them need friends any less. It doesn’t replace the excitement of doing, and the contentment of belonging.

Often people find that it’s easier to consider disability as a separate entity, and even with the best will and compassion, this can prove a negative experience. There are limitations, there are differences, but these simply need accepting and not always highlighting.

That kid sat alone under the shelter in his wheelchair whilst his peers jump about in the rain? The girl left at the bottom of a staircase whilst her friends enjoy the delights above? Always waiting by the side of the fairground ride whilst they hear the laughter and fun of their peers? Watching their friends horse ride and jump on trampolines? Just one simple change of action or decision could diminish that feeling of loneliness and exclusion.

We can’t change the disability, but we can change our reaction to it!